American Legion Lester Keate Post 90 honors local citizens and heroes at recent Southern Utah ceremonies

David Cordero speaking at a Memorial Day Ceremony held at Spilsbury Mortuary, May 27, 2019, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Amy Ostler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — When it comes to service and veteran appreciation, there are few organizations more dedicated than American Legion Lester Keate Post 90 who gathered to celebrate heroes and local citizens at two Southern Utah ceremonies.

Col. Ken Field, retired, is presented with the Citizen of the year Award from Marti Bigbie of American Legion Lester Keate Post 90, date unspecified, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Amy Ostler, St. George News

The Citizen of the Year, Legionnaire of the Year, Auxiliary Youth Hero Award and Sponsor of the Year were all honored for their service to the community at a recent special meeting and potluck event.

Lt. Col. Ken Field, honored as the Citizen of the Year, retired after 25 years in the Air Force.  Field is now the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor at Dixie High School. He has led his students in over 300 events where they have provided over 5000 hours of community service.  He has been awarded Pilot of the Year in several different states and received the Disaster Relief Ribbon for his support during Hurricane Sandy. He also served as a an assistant wrestling coach in Colorado and New York.

Field had the privilege of presenting the Auxiliary Youth Hero award to Bladden Own picture and Vasquez Hernandez for performing an act of bravery, courage and fortitude to individuals involved in a motor vehicle accident near Dixie High School. 

Bladden Own presented with the Auxiliary Youth Hero Award by Col. Ken Field and the American Legion Lester Keate Post 90, date unspecified, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Amy Ostler, St. George News

Own was first on the scene and immediately provided aid to those injured in the accident.

Amy Ostler was named Legionnaire of the Year.  Ostler served in the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp LeJeune NC and Okinawa and two years with the Army’s 358th Public Affairs unit at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City where she was activated for Desert Storm.  

Ostler is also a member of the Post 90 Ritual Team. The ritual team provided military honors for veterans who have passed.

Nick Nocchi, owner of HOORAY Engraving shop at 499 E. Tabernacle St., was named Sponsor of the Year. Nocchi and his team has helped the American Legion with uniform accessories and other recognition awards.   

Even rain couldn’t dampen spirits on Memorial day when a command decision by Post 90 to move the service from the rain and cold at St. George City cemetery to Spilsbury Mortuary saved the day.

Ski Ingram, former Commander of Post 90 introduced the keynote speaker David Cordero. He currently serves as the marketing and communications director for the city of St. George.

Cordero was recently awarded the Excellence in Community Service by the Daughters of the American Revolution for his many hours of service and nine trips with Utah Honor Flight.

Amy Ostler awarded Legionnaire of the Year by American Legion Post 90, date unspecified, St. George, Utah | Photo courtesy of Amy Ostler, St. George News

His comments had most of the packed house in tears, speaking about three American soldiers who lost their lives defending our freedoms and the friendships that have endured.    

Tammy Houchen performed several moving numbers including “I will Stand” and the Color Country Chorus sang all of the service songs for each branch of service to massive applause for each service member standing.

The American Legion is dedicated to helping veterans and their families thru many service and community projects such as providing military funeral honors for veterans.   

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