Those who have given their service in the U.S. armed forces are a revered and beloved part of the Pahrump community, which regularly shows its appreciation for these men and women, particularly around holidays that honor veterans and members of the military.
This Veterans Day, the Pahrump Elks Lodge #2796 came together to put on a special dinner for valley veterans, including an entire table dedicated to veterans visiting from Pahrump’ Inspirations Senior Living facility, and the Pahrump Valley Times was invited along to document the experience.
Terri Coleman, Pahrump Elks Lodge Veterans Chairperson and Nevada State Elks Association’s Adopt A Vet Committee chairperson, was bubbling with excitement and enthusiasm the night of Monday, Nov. 11 as the activities inside the lodge began to reach a bustling pitch.
“These guys gave up everything, they left families, they left friends, I mean, they left to protect you and me!” Coleman said with evident admiration. “What can you do more than that, to leave the ones you love, to fight, and you know you may not come back? And they did it. These guys did that.”
To kick off the evening, the Pahrump Civil Air Patrol Color Guard presented the colors. The strong, sure voices of attendees pledging their allegiance to the iconic stars and stripes then suffused the lodge, followed by the somber tones of “Taps” performed on a harmonica.
Elks Lodge vocalist Nancy Rymer then gave a specially prepared opening prayer.
“Dear Lord, today we honor our veterans, worthy men and women who gave their best when they were called upon to serve and protect their country. We pray that you will bless them, Lord, for their unselfish service and the continual struggle to preserve our freedoms, our safety and our country’s heritage for all of us,” Rymer intoned. “Bless them abundantly for the hardships they faced, the sacrifices they made, for their many different contributions to America’s virtues over tyranny and oppression. We respect our veterans, we thank them, we honor them, we are proud of them and we pray that you will watch over these special people and bless them with peace and happiness.”
As a thank you to the veterans, the Elks had prepared an Italian spread that included stuffed shells, homemade meatballs, veggies, salad, rolls, cannoli and cake, the scents of which drifted tantalizingly through the venue, making stomachs growl in anticipation.
Eager attendees were able to fill their plates and sit down to enjoy an evening of laughter and love all overlaid with an atmosphere of profound gratitude for the service the veterans gave to the nation.
The evening’s festivities also included gift bags for each of the veterans attending, as well as door prizes and even some items left over from the Veterans Stand Down, all brand new, which attendees were able to take home.
The Elks are a non-political, non-sectarian, national fraternal order made up of hundreds of thousands of members from nearly 2,000 lodges across America. Its purpose and mission is, “To promote and practice the four cardinal virtues of charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity; to promote the welfare and enhance the happiness of its members; to quicken the spirit of American patriotism and cultivate good fellowship.”
The Pahrump Elks Lodge meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the lodge, 2220 E. Basin Ave., just east of the DMV. Membership in the Elks Lodge can only be obtained by invitation from a member of good standing. All members must be 21 years or older, be an American citizen, believe in God and be of good moral character, the Elks national website details.
For more information visit www.elks.org or www.pahrumpelks.com or contact the Pahrump Elks Lodge at 775-751-2796.
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at firstname.lastname@example.org
At a glance
See pvtimes.com and the Nov. 13 edition of the Pahrump Valley Times for coverage of Veterans Day in our community. See our Facebook page for additional Veterans Day videos.