Fort McCoy News June 12, 2015

Fort McCoy recognizes Memorial Day at prayer lunch

STORY BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Remembering those who died while serving in the country's armed forces was the theme of the Fort McCoy Memorial Day Prayer Luncheon May 21.


Soldiers and other Fort McCoy community members sing a song selection during the Fort McCoy Memorial Day Prayer Luncheon at McCoy's Community Club. Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

The event, coordinated by the Religious Support Office (RSO), benefitted from the time and talents of many members of the Fort McCoy community. The event opened with an acapella rendition of the national anthem. Karen Birkeness of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security also participated by playing and singing music.

"I was honored and blessed to be asked to lead the praise and worship music for the prayer luncheon," Birkeness said.

Because of a scheduling conflict, the original guest speaker did not make it to the event. However, Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott stepped in to provide words of inspiration regarding Memorial Day and the military profession.

"We who take an oath to defend the ideals of our nation know full well that freedom demands sacrifice," Nott said. "The nature of that demand is what makes the military profession different than any other. It is why we are gathered here now to thank those who have served honorably in its ranks and have provided the ultimate sacrifice so that we may be free."

Following Nott's address, Master Sgt. Diane Mazyck of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort McCoy, prayed for Soldiers and Families, and Chaplain (Capt.) Charlie Bechtold of the 88th Regional Support Command (RSC) prayed for the nation. Chaplain (Maj.) Scott Hagen, also from the 88th RSC, concluded the event with the benediction.

Randy Eddy, Installation Safety Office manager, was among the dozens of people who attended the event.

"I enjoyed all aspects of the event — from the opening national anthem to the scripture readings as well as the keynote message by Col. Nott and the great music provided by Karen," Eddy said. "Fort McCoy is blessed to have gifted individuals willing to share their talents with the community. Kudos to the RSO staff for their resourcefulness in providing a great event."

For more information about RSO events, call 608-388-3538.

For more photographs of the Memorial Day luncheon, click here.