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Cape Fear Voices and The Teen Scene is Named 2024 Non-Profit of the Year by the North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

Cape Fear Voices / The Teen Scene named 2024 Non-Profit of the Year by North Brunswick Chamber of Commerce

Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America
Jerry West

Wilmington Wreaths Across America was held on December 16, 2023, at the National Cemetery in Wilmington. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Air Force Colonel (ret.) Jerry West, the program was flawless. It was a brisk but beautiful day to be outside and honoring those who have served our country.

The Mission of Wreaths Across America is to “Remember the fallen. Honor those who serve. Teach the next generation the value of freedom.”

In 2006, with the help of the Civil Air Patrol and other civic organizations, simultaneous wreath-laying ceremonies were held at over 150 locations around the country. The Patriot Guard Riders volunteered as escorts for the wreaths going to Arlington in the beginnings of the annual “Veterans Honor Parade,” a convoy that now travels the East Coast every year in early December. In Wilmington’s first year of conducting this ceremony, they only laid seven wreaths- one to honor each branch of service and POW/MIA’s. This year, they laid nearly 5,000 wreaths.

This year’s ceremony included Army General (ret.) Dan Allyn as the keynote speaker. Other speakers included Mayor Bill Saffo, Mayor Brenda Bozeman, and NHC Commissioner Vice Chair LeAnn Pierce. The Master of Ceremony was Army Lt. Colonel (ret.) Rick de Moya.

A Memorial Wreath was presented for each branch of service and POW/MIA. Presenters were Colonel Rob Penwell, Army (ret.); and Chief Warrant Officer Rafford Taylor, Marine Corps. (ret.); Commander Dale Todd, Navy (ret.); Colonel Harrison Smith, Air Force (ret.); Airman 1st Class Dakota Clifford, Air Force (representing the Space Force); Petty Officer Isabella Bobbitt, Coast Guard, Mr. Bert Klerh, Merchant Marine, and Sergeant Lane Adrian, Army,  representing POW/MIA’s.

The program was complete with Honorable James Faison, III conducting the opening prayer, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Honor Guard presenting the colors, and Cadet Sergeant Major Harrison Shearer (Civil Air Patrol) leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Reuven Ostrov sang the National Anthem, Daryl Chamber played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, and Paul Paolicelli ended the program by playing Taps.


The public is invited to help remove the wreaths on January 19, 2024 at 9 am.




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About the Contributor
Gerald Decker
Gerald Decker, Founder, President
Gerald Decker is a 4-year Navy veteran with four tours to Vietnam between 1968-1971. Gerald earned a Master’s Degree from George Washington University. He worked for nine years as a U. S. Senate staffer after college and later as a Senior Manager for a small business lobby organization. Gerald also taught Political Science at the high school and college levels. He is a certified trainer in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Gerald founded Athens/Oconee Adult Baseball, Decker Diamonds, the Leland VFW Post 12196, and Teen Scene, Inc. In addition to his work with Teen Scene, Gerald is founder and Past Commander of the Leland VFW Post 12196. The Post was the Mayor's Choice of Citizen of the Year in 2020 and was ranked #5 in the nation for 2022-2023. Since 2020, Gerald has co-written two books. The first was about his good friend and WWII veteran Alex Moskowitz. The second was published by Teen Scene, Inc. in Oct. 2021, entitled "The Great Lockdown of 2020: An Anthology." Gerald is still married to his high school girlfriend (55 years) and has two children and three grandchildren. Following a 15-year hobby of playing catcher in a men’s adult fast-pitch baseball league, his hobbies now include heating pads, grandchildren, and genealogy. Teen Scene and VFW are not hobbies. They are passions.

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