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Veterans Day program and events scheduled Monday

SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO-AM) - The Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and local veterans organizations will sponsor a veterans program at Lincoln High School Monday morning at 10:30 a.m.

Chief Master Sgt. Kevin Uthe, South Dakota Air National Guard, and Bob Thoen, Quoin Financial Bank, are co-chairing the event, which is free and open to the public. The ceremonies include a mass colors presentation of flags from various military, veterans and service/civic club organizations in Sioux Falls, and a performance by the Singing Legionnaires of American Legion Post 15. The public is invited to attend the Nov. 11 Veterans Day ceremonies to pay tribute to the men and women who have served their country with bravery and pride.

Claude Hone, World War II F4U “Corsair” Pilot, will give the keynote address. Lt. Claude Hone was born and raised in Sioux Falls. Hone enlisted in the Marine Corps on Nov. 10, 1941. He served as a drill instructor in San Diego before entering flight training in 1942.

During flight training, he saw duty in Paska, Wash.; Oakland, Calif.; Corpus Christi, Texas, and finally, Daytona Beach, Fla., where he flew the F4F Wildcat during fighter training. Hone first saw combat duty on Guam flying the F4U Corsair supporting his squadron’s mission to liberate the island of Saipan. Later, he flew off the aircraft carrier USS Wasp, where he bombed and strafed the island of Iwo Jima in support of the Marine invasion. He also took part in the first Marine strike on Tokyo, also while based on the USS Wasp.

After Hone served in the Pacific as a Marine aviator, he flew with Joe Foss in several air shows. Following the war, he got involved in real estate and has the honor of holding the state’s first Realtor's license. Hone loves playing golf and prides himself on the fact that at age 93 he is very healthy despite not seeing a doctor in more than 30 years. His secret to a good life includes having the right attitude, eating a good diet and keeping fit mentally.

Four area veterans will be honored by the Sioux Falls Veterans Council for outstanding commitment to their organization, community and country. They are: Chris Nelson, Military Order of the Purple Hearts Chapter #5355; Dave Nordlund, Dakota Marine Detachment #659; Douglas Callahan, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #959; and Glen Walters, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #628.

Other area Veterans Day activities include:

  • Noon, American Legion Open House, 1701 W. Legion Dr., featuring Veterans Day Stew and Cake. Free will donation will be accepted.
  • Noon, Disabled American Veterans (1519 W. 51st St.) Veteran’s Day Awards Program.
  • 1:30 p.m., Sioux Falls VA Health Care System (2501 W. 22nd St.) Veterans Day Remembrance Service at the Sioux Falls VA Health Care System Front Lobby.
  • 5 p.m. Social, 6 p.m. Dinner, Veterans of Foreign Wars Banquet, 3601 S. Minnesota Ave., Entertainment.