2013-11-07 / Front Page

Ceremony Monday to honor vets

Members of the Arnold-Zweir Post 22 of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9447 will co-sponsor a tribute on Monday, Nov. 11, to all military veterans. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Speaking will be Col. Tom Savage, a member of the U.S. Marines who recently graduated from the Naval War College.

The holiday traces its roots back to the armistice with Germany at the end of World War I that took effect at the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.” Originally proclaimed Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, Congress established the holiday as Veterans Day in 1954 during the administration of Dwight Eisenhower.

Volunteers are needed at 8 a.m. to help raise more than 100 American flags at East Ferry Memorial Square. The flags, donated by the families of fallen soldiers, date back to the Spanish American War of 1898. Volunteers are also needed at 3 p.m. to retire the flags. All members of the community are invited to attend the ceremony.

The guest speaker, Col. Savage, is a career infantry officer with multiple combat tours under his belt. He currently serves as a member of the prestigious Strategic Studies Group, a high-profile panel of researchers who work directly for the chief of naval operations in Washington, D.C.

Savage enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1986 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1991 after graduating from California State University with a bachelor’s degree in history. His combat deployments include Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, three tours to the Middle East for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and one tour to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Savage is an honor graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry Captains Career Course, a distinguished graduate of Marine Corps Command and Staff College, a graduate of the Marine Corps School of Advanced Warfighting, and a distinguished graduate of the Naval War College in Newport. He also graduated from the U.S. Army Ranger and Airborne schools, as well as the Marine Basic Reconnaissance Course.

Savage holds four master’s degrees: one from the American Military University, one from the Naval War College, and two from the Marine Corps University.

His personal awards include the Bronze Star with two gold stars and one Combat “V.” He also earned a Combat Action Ribbon with one gold star. He is married to the former Suzanne Thompson, and they reside in Jamestown with their two children, Kimberly and Jessica.

In the event of rain or snow, the ceremony will take place at the recreation center.

Following the ceremony, there will be a free informal lunch at the Narragansett Café for all veterans and their families. Membership in the American Legion or VFW is not required to attend the ceremony or the lunch.

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