Milwaukee VA honors military servicemen and women in Veterans Day ceremony

NOW: Milwaukee VA honors military servicemen and women in Veterans Day ceremony

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Veterans were honored in a private ceremony on the Milwaukee Veterans Affairs (VA) grounds Tuesday, Nov 9. The event was held ahead of Veterans Day on Thursday, Nov. 11, and the VA will air it in Veterans Affairs offices for more vets to see on Thursday. 

It's a day that all Americans should stop to thank the servicemen and women who've fought to defend our freedom. 

"I feel humbled every time," said Jason Church, a retired US Army captain who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan. "Days like today, where the rest of the country honors veterans who come from all walks of life, is something that really makes us stand out as a nation.

About three dozen veterans observed the holiday in an invitation-only ceremony. The official military Taps song played over the speakers and one veteran sang the national anthem. 

"It shows that we appreciate that sacrifice," said Church. "This is not a common mentality throughout the world, to honor veterans the way that we do."

Being together was a reminder for these veterans of the camaraderie and passion they share for helping one another.

Lt. Colonel Darcie Greuel was one veteran at the event. 

"We all feel that it’s a mission and that’s what we do," said Greuel of being a veteran. While she doesn't need a thank you, it doesn't mean she doesn't deserve one.

"It’s very humbling," said Greuel. "The work that I do, I get so much joy from it, both of my jobs that I do, for the VA and in the military. It’s just my passion."

Greuel is being honored this Veterans Day for all of her achievements. Ann Knabe, the VA's public affairs officer, nominated her as Wisconsin's Woman Veteran of the Year. 

"I met Darcy a few months ago right when I started the VA, and I was really impressed with her ability to run the post 9/11 special program we have here," said Knabe. "That touches the lives of our younger veterans." 

Greuel has served for 37 years. She joined the Army Reserve in 1984. Since 2000 she has worked at the Milwaukee VA as a nurse and she's currently the commander of the 452nd field hospital. She helps transition servicemen and women to the VA services.

Following Tuesday's ceremony, Gov. Tony Evers and Mary Kolar, the secretary of Wisconsin's Department of Veteran Affairs, presented Darcie with the award in a private meeting.

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