The Chillicothe Armory was the host site for this year's annual American Legion and VFW Veterans Day Program, held late Monday morning.

After a brief welcome by District 2 American Legion Commander Larry Warren, the Missouri National Guard Battery B, 1/129 Field Artillery Unit posted the colors. The National Anthem was performed by the Chillicothe High School Band, under the direction of Sarah Cavanah.

American Legion Chaplain Benny Simpson gave the invocation, followed by Melvin Littrell, leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The CHS Band played "America the Beautiful."

American Legion Post 25 Commander Ed Allender introduced the program's keynote speaker, Staff Sgt. Troy Green, of Cameron.

"When they asked if I would come up here to speak, I graciously accepted, and I looked at my wife and I [said], 'I wonder why they wanted me to come up.' God love my wife, she said, 'Well, you've got a story to tell.'"
Green spoke to the crowd of his military deployment, and of going through an attack on his base during active duty in Afghanistan.

"I was sitting there, watching a series that I'd bought on the computer," he said. "We have metal shutters [on our windows]. I was struck in the face with [one of those], and I woke up down the flight of stairs we'd built on my side [of the barracks]. I woke up to another explosion, and gunfire.

"I went to the headquarters building, to assist there with the command staff and the security on that building. Being trained in personal security, I knew that you couldn't compromise your command staff.

"That day, the Air and Army National Guard proved they're worth every bit of their salt."

He said that military personnel appreciate thank yous and gestures of the like, as do their family members, who are also affected by times of war. He asked that, following this year's election cycle, the country put our differences aside, and not focus so much on political parties, but, instead, upon being patriots.

Past VFW Commander George Laprade and Past American Legion Post 25 Commander Larry Warren presented awards of thanks to several local businesses for their support of veterans, and for the meals and services they provide to them.

American Legion Auxiliary President Sue Warren noticed the area's Gold Star Mothers, Louise (Eyler) Torrey and Maxine Seuell, who have had family members die in combat.

Laprade presented the customary POW and MIA table ceremony, and a duo of CHS senior trumpeters, Katie Milanovich and Chelsea Price, played TAPS for the crowd.

After a moment of silence, VFW Chaplain Howard Marshall gave the benediction, and Allender dismissed the crowd with closing remarks.