Submitted by: 1SG Charles A. Mujica, Ret., Senior Army Instructor
LA Metro Veterans Program – Honoring all Employees at LA Metro who served our Country in the Military
On the 4th of November 2022 the James Monroe – Viking Battalion Unarmed Drill Team was requested to perform for the 8th Annual Los Angeles Metro Veterans Day Luncheon held at the Historic Ticketing Hall in LA Union Station. LA Metro has recognized the dedication of their Veterans and what all Veterans give back to their community and in the job market. It was special to see how LA Metro showed each of the Veteran employee’s picture, Branch of Service, Military Occupation Specialties, their current position in LA Metro, and years of service both in the military and at LA Metro. Taps was played by COL (R) Larry Icenogle to honor those that were not present. There was several special guest in attendance including the CEO of LA Metro Stephanie N. Wiggins and Lieutenant General Walter E. Gaskin, Ret., USMC. Our Battalion Command & Los Angeles Unified School District Deputy All-City Colonel C/COL Kailey Soltero, presented LTG Gaskin one of our Viking Challenge Coins and received one in return making the event even more special for the Corps of Cadets. The following was read after Taps was played. Click this link for a demonstration (external link).
Picture with Lieutenant General Walter E. Gaskin, Ret., USMC is the Los Angeles Unified School District All-City Deputy Colonel & James Monroe Battalion Commander C/COL Kailey Soltero. Both exchanged their respective “Challenge Coins” as Leaders
“The POW MIA & KIA Remembrance Ceremony”
As you entered the banquet hall this evening, you may have noticed a small table in a place of honor. It is set for one. This table is our way of symbolizing the fact that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. They are commonly called POWs or MIAs; we call them “Brothers.” They are unable to be with us this evening and so we remember them.
This Table set for one is small ‐‐ Symbolizing the frailty of one prisoner alone against his oppressors……. Remember!
The Tablecloth is white ‐‐ Symbolizing the purity of their intentions to respond to their country’s call to arms……. Remember!
The single Red Rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades‐in‐arms who keep the faith awaiting their return……… Remember!
The Yellow Ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the yellow ribbon worn upon the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting of our missing……… Remember!
The Candle, the candle is lit ‐‐ Symbolizing the upward reach of their unconquerable spirit……… Remember!
A Slice of Lemon is on the bread plate to remind us of their bitter fate……… Remember!
There is Salt upon the bread plate ‐‐ Symbolic of the families’ tears as they wait……… Remember!
The Glass is inverted ‐‐ They cannot toast with us this night……… Remember!
The Chair – The chair is empty. They are not here ……… Remember!
All of you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid, and relied upon them, for surely, they have not forsaken you……… Remember!
Until the day they come home…….. Remember!