Community honors Dye after MV Veterans Parade

Photos by Marie Mccolm Monte Vista held a Veterans Parade to honor all veterans and recognized veteran Lyle Dye with the George Washington Badge of Merit Award during a ceremony at Faith Hinkley Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday, Nov. 12. Local veteran Lyle Dye, center, received the George Washington Badge of Merit Award during a ceremony at Faith Hinkley Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday, Nov. 12. Dye is pictured with his family.

MONTE VISTA — Monte Vista held a Veterans Parade to honor all veterans and recognized veteran Lyle Dye with the George Washington Badge of Merit Award during a ceremony at Faith Hinkley Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday, Nov. 12.

A Color Guard of veterans led the parade, marching down Washington Street carrying military flags to pay tribute.

The Monte Vista High School Marching Band, fresh off winning the 2022 state title played in the parade. Mayor Dale Becker and his wife Jennifer Becker drove a large Wilbur-Ellis semi-truck with an American flag on the side.

A float with the Kiwanis man with a tassel motored in the parade.

The Proud Military Parents and Support Group also marched in the parade, and gave out tiny military figurines, with a note on them stating to display the figurine, with a veteran in mind.

Pam Self, who is the Admissions and Marketing Director of Colorado Veterans Community Living Center at Homelake, also marched proudly in the parade.

The City of Monte Vista raised a large American flag near Bill Metz Elementary and the parade concluded with everyone marching and passing under the flag. 

A special talk was given at the Faith Hinkley Veterans Memorial Park. The park is named after U.S. Army Sgt. Faith Hinkley and honors local veterans, including U.S. Marine Sgt. Glen E. Martinez.

Veteran and MV City Attorney Eugene Farish was a guest speaker at the ceremony and spoke of both Martinez and Hinkley.

“On May 2, 2008, Glen and three other Marines were on a routine patrol, when an insurgent triggered an IED, blasting the Humvee to bits and killing all four Marines,” Farish said. “He posthumously received the Purple Heart, the Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation with Combat Medal, National Defense Medal, and Iraq Campaign Medal. His body was transported to the Veterans Center at Homelake, where he was buried with full military honors.

During the time Martinez was serving in Iraq, Hinkley was completing high school in Monte Vista. She started talking to Army recruiters and was thinking of going into the Army, Farish said.

Farish explained how Hinkley was fatally wounded by gunfire on Aug. 7, 2010, just five days after she was promoted to sergeant. Hinkley received posthumously the Bronze Star, the Army Commendation Medal, the Purple Heart, Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Expert Marksmanship Medal, and 309th Military Intelligence Striped Bronze Total Soldier Award. 

Two wreaths were then placed upon the memorial stones for Martinez and Hinkley, by Martinez’s father, and Hinkley’s relative. 

A ceremony was then held to give out the George Washington Badge of Merit Award. A brief history of the award was given, and it was announced that the original spirit was being brought back into the community, in reference to the “Purple Heart” and being given out to a special member of the community that not only served in the military but also gave back to their community when they returned.

Lyle Dye was named the recipient of the award. A history of Dye was given. His parents passed away when he was 12 years old, and he was raised by his brother Orville.

Dye enlisted in the United States Marines Corps on April 5, 1968, during the war. Dye was wounded twice while in Vietnam. Dye returned from Vietnam and was hospitalized for 13 months due to a serious leg wound from the war. On May 1, 1970, Dye was medically discharged from the Marines.

Dye returned to work for the Bank of Monte Vista, Sunflower Bank and San Luis Valley Federal Bank. His career spanned 39 years.

In February of 2009, Dye retired with an extensive resume, including coaching elementary boys and girls basketball, boys flag and tackle football, a longtime member of the Monte Vista Elks, the Monte Vista Rotary, the Monte Vista High School sports booster club, a past, present, and current volunteer of the Monte Vista Food Bank, a 50-plus year member of the American Legion, a 30-year member of the Colorado chapter of the Disabled Veterans of America, presently a two-year member of the Royal Order of the Purple Heart, a long-term member of the Vietnam War Memorial Fund, a member of the NRA, and is a long-term member of the Valley Veterans and Rifle Team which serve at veterans' funerals to honor the fallen.  

Dye took to the podium in the front of the memorial, to receive his award and said, “For those of you who know me, I am a man of not so many words. I want to say thank you for this most prestigious award. I know there are a lot of other deserving veterans out there. I would really like to see this continue. People have called me a hero, but I am not, but I have walked with a few. Thank you.”

Dye said that he was humbled and honored to receive the award, and he would tell people who are thinking of going into the military to help serve their country that they should do that, to help keep the nation in the condition that it needs to be in.


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