Each year, Silverdale Baptist Academy honors veterans who have served in the United States Military at a school-wide Veterans Day celebration on Monday. "We are proud of the service and sacrifice of so many, and never want to forget those who gave so much for the freedoms this great country enjoys today," organizers said.
The theme of this year's event is "Because You Served, We Stand," and this year's keynote speaker is Lieutenant Colonel Warren L. "Fang" Benjamin, United States Air Force (Retired).
Lt. Col. Benjamin flew high-performance front-line combat fighter and supersonic trainer aircraft his entire career, logging over 4,000 flight hours in the McDonald Douglas F-4 Phantom II, the Northrop T-38 Talon and the Boeing F-15 Eagle. He deployed multiple times during his career to overseas locations including Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. He is a combat veteran of Operation Southern Watch, where he flew complex air defense missions over Southern Iraq and Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he was the deputy base commander of Baghdad International Airport. Lt. Col. Benjamin retired from the United States Air Force in 2013 after 24 years of distinguished service.
"This event is open to local veterans who we would invite to attend this service as our distinguished guest of honor," organizers said. "They can fill out the form at silverdaleba.org/vetday so that we have a record."
Monday's program begins at 1 p.m. in the Silverdale Baptist Church sanctuary, with priority seating for local veterans.