PASS veterans’ event a success

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, CALIF. -- January 30, the day of the PASS Veterans' Workshop in Beaumont, Calif., started well, with the honor guard calling me to tell me they were on their way. They ended up arriving before me. (God bless them, their dedication is outstanding!)

When I arrived at the Beaumont Civic Center auditorium, Staff Sgt. Andrew Cook was helping some of the women who were setting up for the event. They were so pleased with his help.

The workshop began with the March Total Force Blue Eagles Honor Guard posting the colors and conducting a POW/MIA table ceremony. The members of the honor guard were: Tech. Sgt. Willingham, Tech. Sgt. Ducat, Tech. Staff Sgt. Martinez, and Senior Airman Coreas. Officer Lynden Peats of the Beaumont Police Department then sang a wonderful gospel overtone rendition of the National Anthem that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

City council member, Debbie Franklin, introduced California State Assemblyman Paul Cook. U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer's representative, Alton Garrett, was also in attendance.

Anita Worthen, vice president of the Pass Area Supporting Service-Members (PASS) Committee, was the narrator for the workshop. She walked around to each table, asking each person representing an agency to speak for a few minutes on what they had to offer to veterans.

In attendance were representatives of the following agencies: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, California Department of Veterans Affairs, Riverside County Department of Veterans Affairs, Loma Linda Veterans Hospital, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 233 in Beaumont, Military One Source and San Jacinto Community College.

Representatives from the Beaumont and Banning police departments, California Highway Patrol and Riverside County Sheriff's Department also attended the event. Local restaurants and coffee shops donated delicious refreshments.

Although the workshop was specifically designed for veterans, it was also open to active duty, reserve and retired military members from all branches of military service. There were more than 200 people in attendance at this event.

To sum things up, the event was a success and we were represented well from March Air Reserve Base.