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Golden Veterans group seeking new recruits to keep membership alive

By Deborah Wilber - | Mar 3, 2022
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Craig Rollins reviews papers for John Cole's presentation on Sergeant Reckless in a meeting of the Golden Veterans group on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. Veteran Bill Kelly is also pictured at the table.
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Members of the Golden Veterans group at the Golden Hours Senior Center line up for a group photo on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. From left to right: Richard Rose, Tom (last name unavailable), Wilson Tolman, James Hicks, Bill Kelly, Steve Ross, Gene Erickson, John Cole, Craig Rollins and Byron Garner.
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Members of the Golden Veterans group are pictured holding their weekly meeting inside the Golden Hours Senior Center on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
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Marine Corps WWII veteran John Cole is pictured sitting next to Navy veteran James Hicks while giving a presentation to fellow members of the Golden Veterans group on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
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Members of the Golden Veterans group at the Golden Hours Senior Center line up for a group photo on Wednesday, March 2, 2022. From left to right: Richard Rose, Tom (last name unavailable), Wilson Tolman, James Hicks, Bill Kelly, Steve Ross, Gene Erickson, John Cole, Craig Rollins and Byron Garner.

OGDEN — Golden Hours Senior Center, home to the Golden Veterans group, is actively seeking more members. Steve Ross, the group’s only Gulf War veteran, said he wants to build up membership so more veterans can experience the support and camaraderie that he does.

Golden Veterans meet every week at the senior center to engage in conversation with donuts and coffee. On Wednesday, WWII veteran John Cole led a discussion on a book he read about Sergeant Reckless, a decorated war horse. Sergeant Reckless was the only animal ever awarded an official rank in the United States Marine Corps.

The veteran group talks about the past, both good and bad, as well as current events, such as the war in Ukraine. They participate in veteran events and ceremonies with American Legion Ogden Post 9. More importantly, Ross said, members are there for each other.

“I still have pretty bad nightmares and stuff,” he said of his time in the Gulf War.

Providing a shoulder to lean on when things get rough and taking each other to the doctor is what the Golden Hours veterans do for one another.

It is not all somber times for the group, which meets for breakfast at the Riverdale Denny’s every other Friday. Ross said the staff give them a special room where they can have fun and talk amongst themselves.

For more than breakfast and conversation, the group takes field trips together. Ross said he is particularly looking forward to the group’s trip to the Layton Commons Park to visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

“I have cousins on that wall,” he said.

The group will be a part of a medal-pinning ceremony at the Golden Hours Senior Center on March 24, and Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell is expected to be there to support veterans in the community.

Ross said the group wants to know why there is not a Veterans Day parade in Ogden anymore.

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