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Veterans feted at annual pancake breakfast at Chamisa Elementary

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By Wren Propp

Area veterans were treated to breakfast Thursday at Chamisa Elementary in White Rock, an annual event where youngsters get an opportunity to learn more about the military service of their relatives and neighbors.

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“It’s delightful,” said Jim Nesmith, a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Veterans Day is Saturday.

The cafeteria teemed with children, parents, staff and veterans before school began Thursday morning. They enjoyed a nearly endless stream of warm pancakes and bacon, juice and coffee, along with a color guard presentation of the flags and a pledge of allegiance.

“We are so grateful they are here to put a face on service,” said Jenny Lambson, of Chamisa’s Parent-Teacher Organization, who worked on the line dishing up pancakes.

While veterans and uniformed scouts ate for free, others paid $5 each. Profits from the annual event goes to the VFW No. 8874 in Los Alamos, said Lambson.

D.J. Luscher, a den leader for local Webolos Pack 20, was keeping an eye on members of his den while appreciating the service of veterans.

“It’s very important for us as a community, particularly for scouts, to show respect and appreciation,” Luscher said.
VFW No. 8874 Chaplain Victor Valenzuela said the proceeds from the annual event have been extremely helpful to the local organization.

“We were really struggling financially last year and this really helped us,” said Valenzuela.

Among the many veterans who attended the breakfast were Nesmith, Eluterio Garcia, who served in Korea in the1960s, World War II veteran Robert Gleason, Valenzuela and Paul Elkins, a veteran of the Korean War.

Gleason, a resident of Albuquerque, was invited to attend by family members, including Gleason’s great grandson Asher Arellano, 6, who is a student at the school.