Memorial Day services around the county

3 local servicemen who died in Afghan, Iraq wars to be feted

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

Published:

 

Three local servicemen who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan will be honored at today's Memorial Day ceremony in Vancouver Barracks.

The 11 a.m. ceremony — one of several Memorial Day events scheduled around the county — will be at the Clark County War Memorial.

Three new names recently were engraved on the memorial, representing two soldiers and a Marine who died in combat operations.

Sgt. Jason D. Peto, 31, died on Dec. 7, 2010. The Vancouver Marine was wounded on Nov. 24, 2010, in Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

Chief Warrant Officer Jonah D. McClellan, 26, Battle Ground, died on Sept. 21, 2010. The Army aviator was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

Sgt. Earl D. Werner, 38, died on Aug. 28, 2009 in Iraq. The Amboy-area soldier was killed when insurgents attacked his vehicle with a powerful explosive device.

The Vancouver Barracks ceremony will be one of two local events to include a flyover conducted by Oregon Air National Guard fighter jets. Two F-15 Eagle jets from the 142nd Fighter Wing, based in Portland, are scheduled to fly over at 11:05 a.m. The flyovers will be at about 1,000 feet and about 400 mph; flights could changed or canceled because of weather.

Scheduled speakers include U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas; Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt; Col. Mark Snyder, commander, 2nd Brigade, 95th Division; and Col. Fred Aronow, a decorated Vietnam veteran.

Participants include the 204th Army Reserve Band, Fort Vancouver Bagpipe Band, 95th Division Color Guard, 146th Field Artillery Salute Battery, 6th Marine Engineer Battalion Salute Squad, Buffalo Soldiers Color Guard and vocalist Rey Reynolds, a Vancouver police officer.

Several Gold Star families who have lost loved ones in war also will attend and will be recognized.

A cannon salute, using a replica of a pre-Civil War weapon, and a 21-gun salute will be presented by staff of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.

The event is presented by the nonprofit Community Military Appreciation Committee and sponsored by Waste Connections.

Following the service, members of the Vancouver Barracks Military Association will conduct walking tours within the barracks area. Tours will form on the north side of building 987.

Other events scheduled today:

• Northwood Park Cemetery, 16407 N.E. 15th Ave., Ridgefield: An F-15 jet flyover is scheduled for 11:19 a.m. Participants will include a veterans honor guard and the Skyview High School band. The event is free and open to the public.

• Ridgefield Cemetery, Cemetery Road: American Legion Post 44 will present a Memorial Day service at 9 a.m., featuring a performance of taps and a rifle salute.

• Washougal Cemetery, 3329 Q St.: The 11 a.m. event will include placing wreaths at the cemetery flagpole to honor deceased veterans. There will be a flyover by a vintage aircraft, and a rifle salute by Cape Horn American Legion Post 122.

• Camas Cemetery, 630 N.E. Oak St.: Boy Scout Troop 562 will hold a flag-raising ceremony at 9 a.m., and members of Veterans of Foreign Wars will place hundreds of flags in the cemetery. On Saturday, Sunday and Monday, cemetery staff and volunteers will help visitors locate graves.