C of O Honors Missouri Vietnam Veterans

C of OCollege of the Ozarks held a ground breaking ceremony on December 18 for a new Vietnam memorial to be constructed on the Alumni Center Lawn in honor of Missouri Vietnam veterans.

According to a university press release from December 8, College of the Ozarks President, Jerry C. Davis said, “Vietnam veterans weren’t treated properly upon their return from war. Such a memorial is long overdue and represents a proper tribute to those who served.”

The names of 1,400 Missourians who served and died in the Vietnam War will be displayed on the memorial. It will be constructed by College of the Ozarks students and staff and it is expected to be completed by April of 2015.

For more information, please visit www.cofo.edu.

Take a Walk Through History at The Veterans Memorial Museum in Branson

The Veterans Memorial Museum is hard to miss, with a full-size World War II P-51 Mustang Fighter Plane displayed right off Highway 76 in Branson. But what’s inside is even better.

The Veterans Memorial Museum is an incredible collection of more than 2,000 exhibits featuring historical artifacts, real photographs and the life stories of those who sacrificed everything for their country.

Walking through this museum is really bitter sweet, especially if you take the time to stop and read all the personal stories of the people who spent years away from their families or gave their lives to earn the freedom that we all so enjoy here in America.

The museum takes visitors on a tour through history, with ten different rooms dedicated to World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf War. The artifacts in each room range from field kits and guns to uniforms, musical instruments, equipment worn by carrier pigeons and so much more.

While I was walking through the museum, two older gentleman approached me with curiosity, asking if I was interested in all this “war stuff.” I laughed and told them I was interested as well as on the clock. They visited with me for a good 30 minutes and told me all about their experiences at war. Both were veterans and one had served in Vietnam, where he was critically injured and sent home after treatment.

It was fascinating to talk to two men who had been in their early 20s when they took up arms to fight for America and had lived through many of the things that some of the exhibits in the museum detailed. Talking to someone who had lived through all that made the stories of tragedy, triumph and courage that lined the walls even more personal.

The highlight of my visit was probably the huge bronze memorial sculpture surrounded by more than 500,000 names of all those who perished in the wars that spanned the 73 years between 1918-1991.

It was an awe-inspiring experience and if you haven’t taken the time to stop by the Branson Veterans Memorial Museum I would definitely do so.

The museum is at 1250 W. Hwy. 76, Branson, next to Branson United Methodist Church and just a quarter mile from Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater. Hours of operation are Sunday-Monday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

For more information, visit www.veteransmemorialbranson.com.

See Branson’s 81st Annual Veterans Day Parade Tomorrow

The annual Branson Veterans Day Parade is scheduled for tomorrow at 11 a.m. in downtown Branson.

This year’s parade is hosted by the The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 913 and will feature a new parade route. Almost 100 participants will be walking the new route.

After the parade, the Air Force Band Shade of Blue Jazz Band will be playing at the Branson Landing fountains from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m., so stop by for a free concert!

For more information about the Veterans Day Parade, visit www.bransonveterans.com.

Tomorrow Features Free Admission for Veterans at Ralph Foster Museum

In honor of Veterans Day, College of the Ozarks’ Ralph Foster Museum will be waiving the admission fee for all veterans.

The Ralph Foster Museum has been called the Smithsonian of the Ozarks, featuring thousands of exhibits that preserve the history and culture of the Ozarks.

While you’re at College of the Ozarks, stop by the Keeter Center for a delicious meal or visit the Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen, the Edwards Mill or the C of O Greenhouses.

For more information about Ralph Foster Museum, visit www.rfostermuseum.com. For information about other attractions at C of O, visit www.cofo.edu.

Branson’s Rose Petal Ceremony for Vets Tomorrow

The 11th Annual Rose Petal Ceremony is scheduled for tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Stone Castle Hotel & Conference Center.

The ceremony, a tribute to female veterans will feature delicious food, live entertainment, guest speakers and raffles.

The 11th Annual Rose Petal Ceremony is in conjunction with Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week.

For more information, visit www.bransonveterans.com or call 417-337-8387.

Branson’s Longest Running Military Tribute Ball Scheduled for Tomorrow

Chateau on the LakeVeterans of all wars and branches are invited to attend the 18th Annual Military Gala & Banquet tomorrow evening from 5-11 p.m. at Chateau on the Lake.

The public is also invited to attend this event that stands holds the title of Branson’s longest running military tribute ball.

This year’s Military Gala & Banquet is hosted by the P.O.W. Network and includes dancing, elegant dining, formal portraits, outdoor fireworks at intermission and live entertainment from The Wings of Swing Big Band. A cash bar will be available as well.

VeteransThe dinner menu includes beef, chicken, salad, rolls, potato, vegetables and dessert.

This event is a formal black tie occasion and seating is limited so reservations are required. To make your reservation, call 417-336-4232. For more information, visit www.pownetwork.org.


Veterans Homecoming Continues with “All Hands on Deck”

The all American musical “All Hands on Deck” is coming to Branson’s Star Theater tomorrow at 4 p.m. to put on a one-of-a-kind performance that’s sure to be remembered.

The musical is based on Bob Hope’s 1942 USO tour and features four Hollywood stars, the Hollywood Victory Caravan Orchestra and 42 of the greatest American songs including, “Deep In The Heart of Texas,” “I’m In The Mood For Love” and “Pennsylvania Polka.”

See “All Hands on Deck” for a patriotic salute to active duty and veterans of the Armed Services and celebrate Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week.

For more information, visit www.allhandsondeckthemusical.com.