Patriots Ball raises funds for veterans and their families

By: 
CAROLYN DRYER, Editor

Archie Kelley, a 100-year-old Navy veteran, was recognized for this honorable service during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The singing group Uptown Angels — Candy, Mandy and Brandy — kept the evening up tempo with their timeless renditions of 1940s favorites.

Veterans of the armed forces were in attendance and they stood at attention when the Uptown Angels sang a medley in tribute to their particular branch of military service. The fourth annual Patriots Ball was underway at the Point Hilton Tapatio Cliffs.
“Remembering Those Who Served” was the theme and it was repeated throughout the evening with salutes to those who have gone above and beyond to assist veterans and their families during active duty and in transition to civilian life.
Good Evenng Arizona anchor Nicole Crites was master of cermonies.
Congresswoman Martha McSally sang the National Anthem, while entertainer Ted Newman sang the evening theme song. Uptown Angels entertained throughout the dinner with songs from decades past, but familiar to most who attended the ball.
Presented by Southwest Veterans Foundation, a nonprofit arm of Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce, the Patriots Ball was an opportunity to raise funds for veteran scholarships and also to recognize individuals and organizations that support veterans throughout the year.
The event also recognized a special veteran, 100-year-old Archie Kelley, a retired U.S. Navy Captain and Pearl Harbor attack survivor.
From his biography in the Patriots Ball program:
“A Naval Academy graduate, Kelley had been commissioned an ensign in the Navy for less than a year in December 1941 and was assigned to the battleship West Virginia at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On the evening of Dec. 6, he played poker with friends and returned to the ship around midnight to be ready for his assignment as Officer of the Deck the next morning.
“Just minutes before Kelley’s shift started the next morning, the attack alert was broadcast over the ship’s loudspeakers. ‘Man your battle stations. This is no …..’ The Japanese attack had begun. In his white uniform but with no shoes or hat, Archie ran to his post in damage control at the bottom of the ship. He gave the command to set condition ‘Zed,” which was the order to close the ship’s watertight doors and hatches. The order was carried out before seven torpedoes hit the West Virginia, and that action prevented the ship from rolling over, likely saving hundreds of lives.”
Other veterans spotlighted were the Hero Dogs, four-legged veterans who have performed many military missions, including attack, scouting and tracking, sentry and security watches, explosive and ambush detection and search and rescue. In addition to troop support in combat battles, Hero Dogs also support many veterans as they battle traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress, amputation and other physical and mental wounds.
Buffalo Soldiers of America/Arizona Chapter andBagpiperTed Plambeck formed the Color Guard.
Chaz Jackson, pesident of Buffalo Soldiers of America/Arizona, said his chapter was trying to build a monument or memorial for the Buffalo Soldiers, known as the Warriors of the West.
Awards presented at the ball:
Delta Diversified Enterprises Inc. received the Patriots Shield award, which is presented to the Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce corporate partner making outstanding contributions to veteran-owned businesses in Arizona. Delta Diversified has formed partnerships with local communities and organizations that assist veterans in transitioning back to civilian life. Delta also provides generous assistance in training veterans to become electricians.
U.S. VETS – Phoenix received the Lincoln award, presented to the veterans’ advocacy group making outstanding contributions to the support of veterans and their families in Arizona. U.S. VETS – Phoenix has helped veterans and their families break the cycle of homelessness and empower veterans to regain self-sufficiency. That service includes transitional housing, permanent housing, specialized support to female veterans, job training and assistance and counseling.
Kelly Mills, a Gold Star Wife, was presented with the inaugural Mark Ashby Memorial Service award. Presented to a non-veterans member of the community for outstanding support of veterans and their families, it recognizes the way recipients distinguish themselves through service and programs that have demonstrated tangible results and outcomes. As a veterans outreach coordinator for Congresswoman Krysten Sinema, Mills advocated for service members, veterans and their families. She is now the program manager for the Military and Veterans Success Center at Luke Air Force Base.
To learn more about Southwest Veterans Foundation, visit www.southwestveteransfoundation.org or call 602-677-2961.
 

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