25th Yuma Flag Raising event honors active duty and retired vets

25th Yuma Flag Raising event honors active duty and retired veterans

Yuma, Arizona July 4, 2011 - Vets and community supporters filled the stands at the Yuma Armed Forces Park to participate in the 25th Independence Day Flag Raising Ceremony early this morning.  The Caballeros de Yuma sponsors the annual event, which honors active-duty military service personnel from Yuma Proving Ground and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma as well as recognize local retired vets for their military service.

Staff Sargeant Paul Goeman received the YPG Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) of the Year award.  Goeman also accepted an award on behalf of Specialist Chun Ho Kuk, who received the YPG Soldier of the Year award this year.  (SPC Ho Kuk was on much-deserved military leave.)  Corporal Raymond J. Thiesen was recognized the MCAS Yuma NCO of the Year.  Lance Corporal Karandeep K. France received the MCAS Yuma Marine of the Year award.

Retired Army Sargeant First Class Ruben C. Torres received a special plaque for his 20 years of military service.  Torres, a long-time Yuma resident, first arrived in Yuma from Puerto Rico to serve at YPG.  His children made arrangements with the Caballeros de Yuma to recognize Torres this morning, which came as a surprise to the Korean War vet.  Even his wife, Rachel, had a tough time keeping their children's surprise a secret.  Torres became emotional as Art Nottingham with the Yuma Department of Veteran Services helped him install his plaque on the veteran wall.

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