Amvets plan Ephrata Memorial Day program

By on May 25, 2016
The cross in the grove behind Peace United Church of Christ in East Cocalico Township will be the site of the new Adamstown non-denominational Memorial Day remembrance Monday morning. Photo courtesy Peace United Church of Christ.

The cross in the grove behind Peace United Church of Christ in East Cocalico Township will be the site of the new Adamstown non-denominational Memorial Day remembrance Monday morning. Photo courtesy Peace United Church of Christ.

In a joint effort between the American Legion Post No. 429, BPO Elks Lodge No. 1933, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 3376 and the Amvets Post No. 136, a Memorial Day program will be held beginning at 9 a.m. May 30 at Ephrata War Memorial Field.

Seating in the bleachers is available or bring a lawnchair.

The ceremony will be moved indoors to the Ephrata High School auditorium in case of inclement weather.

The Ephrata High School Concert Band, under the direction of Stephen Gross, will once again play during the ceremony, and Maddie Whitcraft is the soloist.

The Ephrata Police Honor Guard will place the honor wreath.

The keynote speaker is Major Jay Ostrich, a 14-year veteran and inspector general for more than 1,800 Airmen of the 193rd Special Operations Wing, Pennsylvania National Guard, United States Air Force, based in Middletown.

Originally enlisting and graduating boot camp at age 32, Ostrich joined the Armed Forces just days after the cowardly attacks on American soil on Sept. 11, 2001.

Ostrich is combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, where he served in the Strategic Effects Cell, downtown Baghdad, at the U.S. Embassy. He is also a two-time veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, where he served supporting missions in Afghanistan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda and Burundi.

Named United States Air Force Feature Writer of the Year in 2008 and National Guard Bureau Writer of the Year for four years, Ostrich went beyond the boots, bombs and bullets to help properly tell the dignified stories of our brave soldiers, sailors, Airmen and Marines.

Ostrich has earned the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal and Humanitarian Medal, among many others.

In his civilian life, Ostrich serves as communications director and spokesperson to the Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Mike Turzai.

A former Akron resident and lifetime member of the Ephrata Amvets, member of the VFW and American legion, Ostrich currently resides in Berks County with his daughter Harper, fiancée, Melanie and her son, Brayden.

Refreshments will be available at the Amvets, 614 S. State St, Ephrata. Parking is available at the Post.

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