Toppenish nursing center honors veterans with a patriotic block party

Local nursing center honors veterans with a patriotic block party.

TOPPENISH, Wash.- The staff at Toppenish Nursing and Rehab Center here is making sure that though the Fourth of July may have come and gone, remembering and honoring our veterans is something worthy of a celebration year around.

It was an afternoon filled with recognition of for our local veterans and active military members.

The Yakama Warriors Association starting off the block party with a tribute to each branch of the military, especially the seven veterans that now call the center home.

"This is something they're going to talk about for a long time and they're going to look forward to planning next year and being a part of this,” said Gwin Kaercher, an administrator for Toppenish Nursing and Rehab.

This was the event's first year and the turnout came as a surprise to one of the center's veterans.

"You know they said they were going to have a BBQ and maybe a few guests and stuff… they didn't say the whole town,” said Claud Cavnar, an army veteran.

Cavnar joined the army back in 1971 and served for nine years, but it was the active military members he says he respects.

"They're doing things that we never even planned on doing when I was in the service. So, I think they're great,” said Cavnar.

Still Sergeant Hector Castillo says it's the veterans that deserve the praise.

"The people that came before us made a lot of sacrifices and thanks to them that allows us to enjoy the Fourth of July and every other day that we have in this great nation,” said Sergeant Castillo.

And enjoy is exactly what people did on Thursday afternoon taking part in a free BBQ, a car show, and checking out several big rigs.

But the main attraction was the veterans themselves.

"Everybody has a history and everybody has a spot that shines inside them and days like today are opportunities to say you know what's this person's history, who are they? Who are they truly?” said Kaercher.

A wonderful celebration to those that have selflessly served.

Now, the Mayor of Toppenish has expressed her desire to make this part of the city's annual Fourth of July celebration and the staff here says they're excited to see this event grow and become an established part of the community.

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