07/13/11 As they have done since 2002, the Marshall County 4-H Drill Team presented a program to honor the men and women of the Armed Forces. The program was held this year on Sunday night as the 4-H Fair was getting set up.
The team lead by Harry Eskridge has been using the opportunity to show their patriotism.
One of the speakers for the event was State Representative Nancy Dembowski. Dembowski has been invited to the event for the last several years. She said, “This is a perfect example of an American community.” She added, “I want to recognize the Drill
Team for the outstanding service by displaying confidence, responsibility, skills in leadership, and building citizenship.” “These are all the things our country needs right now.” Dembowski said.
In addition to the Drill Team equestrian performance, the ceremony included an honor guard from Grissom Air Force Base, a flyover escorted by Tom Flynn, the North Judson American Legion, the Plymouth National Guard, and the Culver Pipe and Drums.
Guest speakers for the annual event included Sandy Parker, Rochester Chamber of Commerce; Mike Wolffington, Executive Director of the Marshall County Board of Tourism; and Jack Roose, Marshall County Commissioner.
The Culver Bagpipers were a new addition to the program. Participating in the music offering were Brent Van Norman, Linda Van Norman, Harnish Van Doran, Jerry Howard, Curt Heydt, Clint Maddox, Josh Benke, and Mike Maddox.
Maddox said, “It is an honor to give salute to our Armed Forces who are protecting our rights.”
Flynn, president of the Plymouth Board of Aviation was especially pleased to be a part of the ceremony. For many years, Plymouth Airport Manger Ron Ritter had done the fly-over. Since Ritter retired, Eskridge asked the Mentone flying Club to help out. Joining Flynn was Plymouth Airport Manager Dave Lattimer and his nephew Sean Flynn a senior at West Point.
Flynn’s son Thomas is a 2010 graduate of the United States Navel Academy. At this time, he is in jet flight training in Texas. His primary flight training will be with the jets known as “tail hooks”.
Tom Flynn said, “I am proud of Thomas and all of those serving in the military.”
After the program by the Drill Team, Eskridge said, “They really nailed that.”
Member of the team include the following: Matt Eggert, Kristen Gustafson, Anthony Guyse, Skyler Hampshire, Eliza Kelly, Brianna Kintzel, Stephanie Nifong, Tyler Ramenda, Elise Rollins, Kolton Rudynski, Savannah Rudynski, Abby Schumacher, and Jacob Stokes.
Photos: Ten-Year 4-H Drill Team member Kristen Gustafson leads the team during the perfomance to honor the Armed Forces on July 10 at the 4-H County Fair.
Members of the 4-H Drill Team demonstrate what they have mastered during practices.
Jacob Stokes is only nine -years-old and in his second year with the 4-H Drill Team.
Carol Anders Correspondent