On 3 July, 2013 Southlake, Texas residents came out by the hundreds to celebrate the holiday in style. Vendors and children’s activities lined the streets while the Southlake Community Big Band played under the shade of the gazebo on the town square. Sgt. Kevin Diehl of the Southlake Police Department, Jenni McClure, Events Coordinator for City of Southlake, and Sgt. Mike Dunn of the Southlake Police Department Security and Traffic, and others worked tirelessly to make sure the event came off in grand style.
Members of the PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America) wheelchair honor guard, which consists of all branches of the military, were honored to be a part of this event. Mayor John Terrell welcomed visitors and gave a brief history on this event, and offered information on Southlake and its businesses. Mayor Terrell then turned over the microphone to Marine Bill Fischer of the PVA Honor Guard for the Pledge of Allegiance. You can request the PVA Honor Guard by calling (972) 276-5252 or writing www.mypva.org.
The PVA Honor Guard consisting of Glen Bentley, Jerry Hull, Ted Smith, Charles Brannon, Michael Bruscino, Bill Fischer and John Fay performed the “rifle volley’, 21 gun salute to our veterans. The Guard was formed by disabled veterans and is made up of all branches of the military. They perform at funerals, memorials, and any events, time permitting from those who request them. There is normally no charge, however donations are accepted to help with the cost of travel, etc. The PVA also helps disabled veterans in many other ways. Whether you are looking for a job, want to volunteer, or need housing, they are always there to offer help or get you to a place who can help you.
The Southlake Police Honor Guard is new on the scene, and their first performance was at the Police Memorial Ceremony held in May. They practiced every week for one month at 4 hours per practice. The idea for the honor guard was born when Chief Mylett came from Corpus Christi, Texas. He was shocked to learn there was not an honor guard in Southlake, so a group got together under the direction of then Corporal Kevin Diehl (now promoted to Sergeant) and formed the first Police Honor Guard. Being a former Marine, Kevin Diehl was a natural leader. The honor guard is made up of two Marines, one Army, one Navy, and two non-military police officers. Because of the different military branches, they had to cope with different drill styles. They also started practicing manual of arms with patrol M4’s and patrol rifles. They are eager to get their name out to the public to perform with their Honor Guard. Members are: Sgt. Kevin Diehl, (USMC) Cpl. Tyler Sewell, Cpl. Randy Thomas, (USN) Officer Robert Briggs, Officer Blas Hernandez, Officer Weston Wood, Officer Cory Rattan (USMC).
In addition, Lt. Trey Porter, Engineer Tony Petyon, and Firefighter Jonathan Keeler were there as support and played a part in the activites.