Homelake celebrates six World War II veterans

Courtesy photos A Veterans Day Program was held on Friday, Nov. 11, at the Colorado Veterans Community Living Center at Homelake.

MONTE VISTA — Six World War II veterans were spotlighted during a Veterans Day program at the Colorado Veterans Community Living Center at Homelake on Friday, Nov. 11.

Homelake planned to celebrate its WWII veterans in 2020 — the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II — but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they could not.

Leo Zamora, Robert Toepfer, Willard Martin, Richard Gottlieb, George Blake and a man who requested to be unnamed are residents of the Homelake center.

About 50 people, residents, staff and family, attended the ceremony at Homelake on Friday afternoon.

The Rev. Debria Upton began service with an opening prayer that was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, the Star-Spangled Banner, a Salute to the Armed Forces, closing remarks by Mindy Montague, NHA, and refreshments.

Monte Vista Middle School eighth-grader William Walker read his essay titled “My Pledge to Our Veterans” during the program.

The accomplishments of each World War II veteran were highlighted by presenters Homelake Admissions Director Pam Self and Homelake Activities Director Melanie Squire.

Zamora served in the U.S. Army from 1943-45. Toepfer served in the Army from 1940-45 and received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal. Martin served in the Army from 1944-46 and received the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the Occupation Medal for Germany. Gottlieb served in the Army Air Force from 1943-46 and received the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the Air Medal. Blake served in the Army from 1940-45 and received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal. The unnamed veteran served in the Army from 1945-46 and received the Army Occupation Medal for Japan.

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