Veterans Advisory Committee Gives Veterans a Voice Now Accepting Parade Entrant Applications Veterans Day is the official U.S. public holiday to honor those who have served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. The City of Mill Creek is now accepting applications for organi- zations and groups to participate in its Veterans Day parade on Saturday, November 10. The City is looking for local organizations to help make these events memorable. Dancers, floats, marching bands, vintage cars, mil- itary support groups, drill teams, equestrian teams, kids groups and entrants that show appreciation for veterans are welcome. Those interested in being part of the festivities may apply online at millcreektourism.com/ veteransday. The City looks forward to partnering with the community to honor those serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Operation Gratitude Collection Drive to Support Veterans Set to Start October 1 T he Mill Creek community con- tinues to honor and support the U.S. Armed Forces with events like the Veterans Day Parade and the Memorial Day Commemo- rative Ceremony. Another way the City of Mill Creek supports veterans is through its annual Operation Grati- tude collection drive. This drive helps community members honor deployed troops and their families by donating items such as snack foods, entertainment, hygiene items, socks, hats, scarves, small plush toys, handmade items, gift cards and personal letters of appreciation. The Operation Gratitude drive will take place October 1 through Novem- ber 2. Donations can be dropped off at City Hall South, 15728 Main Street. Other locations will be added and posted on the event website: cityofmillcreek.com/veteransday. Last year, more than 325 pounds of donated items were collected and shipped to the Operation Gratitude headquarters in Chatsworth, Califor- nia, surpassing the previous year’s total of 250 pounds. This year, the City hopes to continue growing the program. Collectively, Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ care packages. Community Veterans Advisory Committee comprising local veterans and their relatives is helping the City identify opportunities for improvement for its Memorial Day and Veterans Day events, bring awareness and honor to those who are currently enlisted in active/reserve U.S. Armed Forces and achieve a strong community patriotic spirit. The committee was instrumental in putting on this year’s Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony and Parade, which turned out to be Mill Creek’s best-attended Memorial Day events to date. For the first time, Mill Creek’s Commemorative Ceremony featured a Battlefield Cross—a memo- rial to fallen soldiers in the shape of combat boots, a rifle, and a helmet. “In addition to the committee’s valuable insights on veterans matters, participating is a great way to build bridges with other local veterans groups like AMVETS, VFW and Amer- ican Legion posts,” said Jon Ramer, a retired Air Force officer and the chair of the Veterans Advisory Committee. Those connections paved the way for community members to get up close and personal with American military history. Military memorabilia from World Wars I, II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War were acquired from the Northwest Veterans Museum and displayed in tents along Main Street. The committee secured several antique vehicle displays as well as the B-25D flyover from Histor- ic Flight Museum at Paine Field. Looking toward Veterans Day, the committee meets monthly to discuss ways to make the parade better. Those interested in joining the Vet- erans Advisory Committee can contact Jon Ramer at jonr@cityofmillcreek.com. The only requirement for joining the committee is that members must be a veteran or have a direct connection to a veteran. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month in City Hall North, Room 201 at 6 p.m. A