Veterans Day speaker

SFC Jason Hollis

Veterans Day will be observed on Monday, November 11 in Tyrone with an annual morning program at the American Legion, and a parade at 2 p.m., all thanks to the hard work and dedication of several community members.

The Veterans Day Observance Service will begin at 11 a.m. with a welcome by Charlene Bloom, American Legion commander. The Advancement of Colors will be by Cody Eckels of the Sons of the American Legion.

The program will continue with the Invocation by Lutheran minister Sharon Erb, Pleadge of Allegiance led by Bill Ritchey of the U.S. Veterans Motorcycle Club, and singing of the National Anthem by Tyrone Area High School’s Pops Extension led by Laura Harris.

The V.F.W. Post 4559 Auxiliary’s President Judy Carson and Chaplain Ann Sellers, and the Legion Post 281 Auxiliary’s President Doris Wilson and Chaplain Jean Nein, will take charge of the annual Veterans Day placement of the wreaths. Wilson will also offer a patriotic reading at this time.

During the POW/MIA Ceremony, led by Denise Sellers of the American Legion Auxiliary, the placement of the caps will include: John Davis for the U.S. Army, Andy Lynn for the U.S. Navy, Scott Hiller for the U.S. Air Force, John Brodzina for the U.S. Marine Corps, and Gil Gampe for the U.S. Coast Guard.

The program will include a roll call of the deceased with Calvin Price of the American Legion acting as toller, placement of the poppies, and a second musical selection by Pops Extension.

This year’s event speaker will be Sgt. Jason Hollis of the Tyrone Police Department. Hollis is Sergeant First Class of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

Hollis has enlisted into B Co. 337th Engineers in January 1995 as a 12B combat engineer, and attended Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training in the summer of that year. He enlisted into the active Army in summer 1996 and was assigned to C Co. 9th Engineers BN 1st ID in Schwienfurt, Germany. After Germany, he was assigned to C C0. 70th Engineers BN 1st AD in Fort Riley, Kansas. Upon completion, Hollis returned to the Army National Guard to complete his military service obligation (MSO) as assigned to B Co. 337th Engineers in Punxsutawney.

Completing his MSO, Hollis turned in his gear in January 2003; five days later he was informed that the stop loss for his unit had taken effect the day before his expiration term of service and he would have to go to Kosovo.

There, Hollis was part of the Task Force as the training non-commissioned officer for B. Co. 337th. He then took a short break from the service and returned to the National Guard as a recruiter in 2005, becoming involved in the Reserve Officer Training Corps programs at Penn State Behrend, and Gannon and Mercyhurst universities.

Soon, Hollis again deployed and served as a team leader in 2008 and 2009. Upon return, he was promoted and served as a squad leader with 856th Engineer Company. In 2012, he was assigned as the section sergeant in the 56th SBCT in Horsham and finished his 21 ½ years of service before retiring in June 2017.

During that time, Hollis had attended the Act 120 police academy program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2012, with the goal to become a municipal police officer. This added to an impressive background of military education in the Army’s Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic Leader Course in which Hollis graduated in the top of his class, and Advanced Leader Course.

Hollis earned a long list of awards throughout his military service career. He now resides in Tyrone and has served as a police officer for the past seven years.

Following speaker Hollis at Monday’s service, Minister Erb will provide benediction, and the Honor Guard will offer the salute to the deceased with officer in charge John Wilson of the American Legion. Past Commander of the American Legion, Andy Lynn will play Taps.

Later in the day, the Veterans Parade organized by the Navy Club will travel from the paper mill starting at 2 p.m., down Pennsylvania Avenue. Club President Charlie Mills and his team have been planning the parade since last Veterans Day.

This year’s parade marshal will be Francis “Skeet” Evans of Tyrone who served in the Army during the Korean War. Evans served in the 2nd Infantry tank division.

All veterans and active duty military personnel are encouraged to take part in the parade. Contact the Navy Club at 814-684-4543.

Adeena Harbst can be reached at aharbst@thedailyherald.net.

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