2019 a year for growth, mayor says

2019 a year for growth, mayor says
In 2019, Mayor Jayme Stayton used the words “bigger” and “growth” to describe his goals for the city, particularly for events and other items of business that began in 2018.

“The first year of me being mayor was learning, trying to figure out what was the best way to approach things and how to get things here, how to reach out to people and speak with them and get them to understand and see the vision that I see,” he said. “A lot of the citizens of Daleville have the same vision.”

He said that, though he continued learning in 2018, he was able to see some of his “vision” come to life.

“In 2018, once I learned (the systems in place), we started having these events,” he said. “Of course, the first one is always the hardest. So, in 2019, this is just going to come naturally. Every event that we have is going to run smoothly and be more relaxing than worrying.

“In 2019, it will be good to see some growth.”

The Daleville Family Fun Fest, which was a first-time event last year, is expected to be even bigger this year, according to Stayton.

“This Daleville Family Fun Fest is going to be bigger because we’re going to have concerts,” Stayton said. “In January, we’re going to start kicking it off and really advertise for Daleville.”

He said the event will also offer event-goers bigger rides and more to do for a range of ages, including younger children.

Another first-time event, the Fall Festival, brought businesses, churches and other organizations together to provide games and treats for families.

Stayton said planners for the fall festival are already planning to make this event bigger as well.

“It was great,” he said. “We had a good turnout there, so they’ve already decided that they’re going to have more stuff, so that will make that event bigger.”

The Inter-Tribal Native American Pow Wow returned to Daleville after a several-year absence. Stayton said this event will also come back bigger and better.

“It’s going to be bigger than it was,” he said, stating the event offers visitors a unique experience. “What’s good about the Pow Wow and what people need to understand is, there are no Native American restaurants. When are you going to get to try actual, handmade Native American food, unless you go to a reservation somewhere? This is your chance to come out and try it.

“It’s a chance for (people) to come out and try some different culture.”

Though it was held in April 2018, it will return to the City of Daleville in November for National Native American Heritage Month.

Two annual city events already saw growth in 2018: Spartan Fest and the city’s annual Christmas Parade.

“It’s always good,” Stayton said of Spartan Fest. “(Last year), we did a tournament. It’s going to be a little bit different this year; it’s going to be bigger. Not too much bigger, but it’s going to be great.”

He also predicts this Christmas parade will grow even more in 2019.

In addition to growth for events and entertainment opportunities for citizens, Stayton said he hopes to see growth in economic development for the city.

“There are businesses that have their eye on Daleville that I feel that (they could come) in 2019,” he said. “You never want to say something is going to happen and it doesn’t happen, but they are looking our way.”

He also said he is continuing to work on bringing an industry to the city.

“I’m still working hard on industry,” he said. “I want jobs here. I want something like the old Tri-Glass to come back.”

He said other, larger cities do affect h

Daleville JROTC uses wreaths to honor veterans

Daleville JROTC uses wreaths to honor veterans
On Saturday, Dec. 15, members of the Daleville High School JROTC Warhawk Battalion took part in Wreaths Across America, honoring veterans who have passed with a wreath on their grave. The JROTC students joined hundreds of others around the country in showing their appreciation. They placed over 200 wreaths on the graves of veterans at three cemeteries in Daleville. The DHS JROTC Color Guard also provided services for formal Wreaths Across America ceremonies in Enterprise and Elba. Wreaths Across America provide Christmas wreaths to be placed on the graves of more than 1,400 veterans here and abroad. “From the Revolutionary War to present day conflicts, our veterans are devoted sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers,” the Wreaths Across America website states. “They come from all backgrounds in life to place those lives on the line for our freedoms.” Wreaths are placed on veterans’ graves with a short ceremony, which includes saluting the grave of the veteran. This event typically occurs on National Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 15, though the organization’s “mission to remember, honor and teach is carried out throughout the year,” according to its website. “Wreaths Across America’s mission touches the lives of thousands of schools, scout, civic and religious groups across the country through fundraising for wreath sponsorships,” the website said. “These groups help us ensure that we reach our goal to place a wreath on each hero’s grave.” The organization states that “service members sacrifice their time and safety” year-round. “In many homes, there is an empty seat for one who is serving or one who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,’ the website states. “There is no better time to express our appreciation than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.” Daleville High School JROTC Senior Instructor Col. (Ret) Teresa Townsend said the students enjoyed honoring those who have served their country. “When a young person, especially a JROTC cadet, stands in front of a grave, says the veteran’s name, and lays a wreath there, it honors that person’s sacrifice for our country,” she said. “The cadets were very moved by the experience.”

Daleville celebrates Christmas holiday with parade, tree-lighting ceremony

Daleville celebrates Christmas holiday with parade, tree-lighting ceremony
Christmas was in full swing during the Daleville Christmas Parade and Tree-Lighting Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 7. Over 40 parade participants waved to the crowds, following the lead of Grand Marshal Lisa Sacaccio. Then, participants and visitors gathered around the city’s Christmas tree where it was formally lit to usher in the holiday season. Carolers were on hand to sing some holiday favorites and classics before Santa Claus and his wife, Mrs. Claus, visited the
children.

VFW Post 6020 honors veterans

VFW Post 6020 honors veterans
VFW Post 6020 in Daleville honored the nation's veterans on Monday, Nov. 12, during its Veterans Day Ceremony.

VFW Post Commander Ken Robillard shared the history of Veterans Day and the reason it is celebrated. He shared that Veterans Day was first recognized as Armistice Day to honor the armistice that ended World War I 100 years ago.

"In 1954, after World War II and Korea, it was renamed Veterans Day to honor all veterans who served in (the) war and defended democracy," he said. "So, today, we honor all our veterans who unselfishly placed their lives on the line for our freedom.

"Those men and women were ordinary people until they heard the call of duty and answered it. They left their families, their homes and their lives, not for recognition and fame or even the honor that we bestow upon them today. They fought to protect our country, to maintain our way of life."

Robillard said the "defense of freedom" is not just the cause of the American soldier. He said citizens could also protect their personal freedom through voting, "speaking out against injustices" or other actions like volunteering.

"Veterans Day isn't just a day for veterans," he said. "It's a day for all Americans. It is a day to remember why they were fighting and a day for all of us to begin our journey to protecting our freedom and the freedom of many future generations."

Lt. Col. Chris Mariani, commander of the 1st of the 223rd Aviation Regiment, spoke about the changes in celebrations of veterans and the sacred bond that veterans, themselves, share.

"Today is a day of tribute and reflection, but also, and perhaps most importantly, of celebration," Mariani said. "Veterans Day is a celebration of all those who have served and continue to serve our nation with honor and distinction.

"It is their loyalty to our country and their great courage that have made us what we are today and what we have been for more than two centuries: the land of the free because of the brave, a beacon of hope in an increasingly complex world."

The celebration of veterans has changed throughout history, but the country has come back to embrace "America's heroes," according to Mariani.

"Today, thankfully, we recognize all the heroic self sacrifice of all our veterans from all our wars," he said. "As a nation, we now recognize that the circumstances for which we fought are not nearly as important as the selfless service and selfless sacrifice to our nation."

Quoting Coolidge on forgetting a nation's protectors, Mariani said the Wiregrass region, especially Daleville, would never forget its veterans and soldiers.

"Veterans are a part of a uniquely American collective," he said. "Whenever America or her interests have been threatened, men and women across this greatest nation have risen to their defense. Whenever our freedoms have come under assault, we've responded with strength and purpose and resolve.

"Each of our veterans, along with their families, have sacrificed to serve that sacred pact between warrior and society that all of us hold so dear," he said.

He said it takes a "full team" to provide military support during war times.

"Only veterans understand this team concept and the sacrifice it takes to serve this great nation in times of war and during peace," he said.

Mariani reminded attendees that there are also veterans that are coping with "lingering" wounds and are working to transition back to civilian life after comba

AUSA 'supports whole Army'

AUSA 'supports whole Army'
AUSA Fort Rucker-Wiregrass Chapter President Col. (ret.) Mark Jones spoke about the importance of the organization and the chapter activities during the annual AUSA General Membership Luncheon held at the Daleville Cultural and Convention Center on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Jones first spoke about the AUSA annual meeting and exposition in Washington D.C. He said 33,000 people from 80 foreign countries attended the event.

During the national conference, he said the Fort Rucker-Wiregrass Chapter of AUSA received 11 streamer awards at the Third Region Breakfast.

"I will tell you that the three that mean the most to me (are) Superior Chapter, Merit Chapter and, the one that absolutely means the most to me, Community Partner Support," he said. "We would not have been able to do this, get ourselves in this little bitty corner of Alabama back on the map with national without your support. I want to thank you very, very much."

Jones also introduced the leadership of the local chapter. He recognized First Vice President Doug Wynn, Vice President of Fundraising Ingrid Strange, Executive Secretary Tanya Hatley, Treasurer Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Sam Macmaster, Vice President of NCO and Soldier Affairs Command Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Otis Smith, Vice President of Public Relations LeeAnn Capps, Vice President of Young Professionals Kurt Kline Jr. and Vice President of Membership Mike Schmitz.

"These are people who volunteer their time to take care of this association, Fort Rucker and our National Guard and reserve soldiers throughout the area," he said.

Jones said many people have heard of AUSA, but many do not know what the organization does.

"I got to thinking about it, and I said, 'We have got to figure out a better way to get the word out to our local communities,'" he said. "They do dearly love (Fort Rucker).

"In short, the Association of the United States Army is the only non-profit, educational, professional development association that supports America's whole Army."

He said the organization is "a voice" and provides "support for the soldier." He said other organizations are only able to support sections, or branches, of the Army, AUSA focuses on the Army as a whole.

"The chapter leadership fully understand that we must do a better job at getting the word out and staying connected to the communities with the Wiregrass that support Fort Rucker, the mission of the Aviation Center of Excellence, the tenant organizations assigned to Fort Rucker and our National Guard and Army reservists in the area," he said. "We are ready, at any time, to speak to your city councils, chambers of commerce, veterans organizations, civic organizations, church committees and any others who would like to know what we're doing for soldiers and families throughout the Wiregrass."

Jones also spoke about the growing national membership of the organization, which helps the Army at the congressional level.

"AUSA has 123 chapters in nine regions worldwide, supporting our members and their communities," he said. "Wherever you go, AUSA is there.

"In the last two years, AUSA membership has grown from just under 70,000 members to over 132,000 members."

He said an increase in membership gives the organization's national leadership the support to speak with congressional representatives on behalf of the Army.

He said AUSA works to inform Congress about the needs of the Army, especially to try to affect change in funding from the government that has been "erratic" and "unpredictable" in the past.&
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