Meadville Tribune

November 5, 2012

Vets salute to focus on airborne service members

Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — Active Aging Inc. in honoring area veterans at its 12th annual Through a Veteran’s Eye: A Salute on Friday at 8:30 a.m. at Meadville’s Lew Davies Community Building. The festivities begin with a flag-raising ceremony conducted by the Meadville VFW Post 2006 and the Vietnam Veterans Post 52 color guards. Attendees will assemble in the community center after the ceremonies for a continental breakfast sponsored by Vantage.

The annual event is held to honor all veterans who served. This year’s will focus on a special salute to highlight the servicemen and women of the Army Airborne.

Guest speakers will be:

-State Sen. Bob Robbins, who completed two tours of duty in Vietnam and received over a dozen medals for his service to his country, including the Soldier’s Medal for Heroism, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, Army Commendation Medals for Valor and the Combat Infantry Badge. He served as company commander with D Company, 501st Airborne Infantry battalion, 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. Robbins was honorably discharged in 1971 from the Army with the rank of captain.

-Art Cocolin, who tells his experience of participating in the airborne division during World War II, and with the 17th, then 82nd Airborne paratroopers.

-William Spruce, assistant director for Program Management in the Education Service division at the Department of Veterans Affair, who will speak on the history of the GI Bill, what the GI Bill contains, and what is available for veterans today. Spruce served in the U.S. Army, Military Police Corps, 529th MP commanding officer, and U.S. Army Europe Honor Guard.

The ceremonies will continue with a special recognition of all former or current servicemen and women in attendance. All veterans, as well as the public, are invited to attend this annual event to honor and thank our community’s veterans. There is no cost to attend. Immediately after the breakfast and speakers, veterans will be part of a special photo opportunity that will be organized as a special recognition for servicemen and women in each branch. The photo shoot is sponsored by the Meadville Tribune.

The Veteran’s Administration Mobile Vets Center will also be on site during the morning. Attendees will be able to tour the vehicle until noon.

The Salute broadcast will be shown on Armstrong cable channel 23 at various times during the next month.

Volunteers who have been on the Veteran’s Salute committee include Fred Cunningham and Agnes Folmar, co-chairs; Tom Barratt, Patrick Emig, Ray Packard, Dr. John Robb, Dick Runnels, Lon Wilson, Gary Mason, and Morris and Donna Waid. The Meadville Tribune, Armstrong, KFC and Active Aging Inc. are also sponsors.

Active Aging Inc. is located in the Lew Davies Community Building, 1034 Park Ave.

-More information: Contact Pam Roberts at 336-1792, toll free at (800) 321-7705, or by email at