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Veterans Day program planned Monday at FHS

David Eastburn, center, poses with a group of Marines in Saudi Arabia near the start of the air war against Iraq in 1991. Second from right is then Lt. Col. James Mattis, the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. Mattis is now the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Eastburn will be the guest speaker at the Veterans Day program Monday morning in the Fairfield High School Auditorium.
David Eastburn, center, poses with a group of Marines in Saudi Arabia near the start of the air war against Iraq in 1991. Second from right is then Lt. Col. James Mattis, the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. Mattis is now the U.S. Secretary of Defense. Eastburn will be the guest speaker at the Veterans Day program Monday morning in the Fairfield High School Auditorium.

In honor of all military veterans, as well as those who presently serve, Fairfield’s American Legion Post 47 will sponsor its annual Veterans Day program Monday at the Fairfield High School and flying the Avenue of Flags in Central Park.

The program will begin at 10 a.m. in the FHS Auditorium. Doors open to the public at 9:15 a.m. Front row seating is reserved for veterans and their families.

Local radio station KMCD will be broadcasting the program.

Sgt. First Class (Retired) James T. Salts will be master of ceremonies. Lt. Col. (Retired) David Eastburn will be the guest speaker. Danny Carey, will give the invocation and benediction. The FHS Choir, accompanied by the FHS Band, will perform a selection of patriotic music. The choir director is Zach Reiter, and the band director is Jim Edgeton.

FHS student Abyni Garner will share about her experience as an attendee at the 2018 Girls State Program on the Iowa State University campus. Girls State, which is sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary No. 47, is a program that instills leadership and interpersonal skills in secondary school students.

The guest speaker, Eastburn, graduated from FHS in 1972. He went to school at Central College in Pella for two years and then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He returned to college and graduated in May 1976 with a degree in political science and was then commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He was an infantry officer and commanded infantry units up to a battalion. He has held staff positions at the battalion, regiment, and fleet level. He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, the Canadian Army Command Staff College, and the Mountain Warfare Training. Eastburn was called to active duty in November 1990, three months after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded neighboring Kuwait. He oversaw translating directives from battalion commanders into orders for his rifle companies. Eastburn and his battalion had two main missions. The first was to capture Kuwait City’s international airport and a military airfield known as Ahmad al-Jaber Air Base. The second mission was to guard a large supply base in Saudi Arabia near the Kuwait border. Eastburn retired Oct. 1, 1997, and currently is chairman of Iowa State Bank and Trust Company in Fairfield.

Since 1998, the Veterans Day program has been held in the FHS Auditorium to encourage high school student participation in the program.

The Fairfield Elks Lodge No. 1192 is sponsoring a Veterans Soup and Salad Bar for all veterans to thank them for their service from 11 .am. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Free will donations will be accepted for guests/non-veterans. Reservations are appreciated, but not required. An elevator is available to those unable to climb stairs.

For more information about the soup and salad bar, contact the Elks Lodge at 472-2171, Jim Kennedy at 472-2444 or Kim Winslow at 919-7555.