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    Naval Base Point Loma Holds Commemoration Ceremony For Vietnam Veteran

    Retired Major Irving Torres-Rivera cuts the cake at commemoration ceremony

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Austin Haist | 210326-N-MJ716-0068 (March 26, 2021) Retired Major Irving Torres-Rivera cuts the cake...... read more read more



    Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Haist 

    Naval Base Point Loma

    March 28, 2021 (SAN DIEGO) On March 26, 2021 Naval Base Point Loma (NBPL) held a commemoration ceremony for retired Major Irving Torres-Rivera at their CZ Hall Galley. The ceremony was used as an opportunity to honor the 90-year-old Vietnam and Cold War veteran, and pay respects for his sacrifice and years of service to his country. In attendance was command leadership, galley staff and base students, who all came to show their support and hear Irving’s story. Telling his story was NBPL’s commanding officer, Capt. Kenneth R. Franklin.
    “Thank you everyone for coming out here today to take just a few minutes to pause, and reflect on our history,” said Franklin. “Today, our entire Navy points together to honor Vietnam veterans and to ensure that the sacrifices of those no longer active-duty service members, who served during this difficult period of our nation’s history, will be remembered for generations.
    Irving enlisted in the Army in 1950, promoting his way up to the rank of Master Sergeant prior to being selected for a commissioning program. As a commissioned officer he served as the Air Defense Battery Commander in Key West during the volatile period of the Cuban missile crisis, as well as serving two tours in Vietnam. During his career Irving received three Bronze Star medals. The award was initially called by its inceptor the “Ground Medal,” and is awarded to recognize service members who show acts of heroism in the field, or who are meritorious in their work during an armed conflict against enemies of the United States. Irving’s recognition was held as an acknowledgement to March 29’s National Vietnam War Veterans day, an annual commemorative holiday that highlights the services and sacrifices of Vietnam veterans, their family members, and our nation’s allies during the conflict. Chief Culinary Specialist J.D. Stepp, a CZ Hall Galley head chef, helped organize the event and prepare the celebratory cake and special lunch.
    “It’s about the veteran,” said Stepp “My father is a veteran, one day I will be a veteran, and Irving is a veteran. It is about showing our respect, this an opportunity for those serving now to remember the sacrifices of those who have served before them.”
    Irving was accompanied to the event by both his daughter and granddaughter. Irving’s daughter Sharon StephensonPino, following in a family tradition of military service, works as the public affairs officer for NBPL, where she assists in maintaining a positive community relationship with the surrounding area and telling the Navy’s story to both a local and larger audience.
    “I would like to thank my Commanding Officer. CAPT Franklin, Naval Base Point Loma, and the CZ Hall Galley Culinary Specialists for this wonderful Vietnam War Commemoration event,” said StephensonPino. “Back in my father’s era, the political environment was not as supportive as it is today, so I am deeply humbled that my father was able to receive the honor that he and all Vietnam veterans deserve for their tremendous support of our country! Giving my father the opportunity at age 90 to be recognized and represent the Vietnam Veterans is truly a touching day for us all.”
    This commemoration event will be one of many similar events happening all over the country on the 29th, as the Vietnam War Veterans Day offers everyone an opportunity to reach out to those who served in the Vietnam conflict, be it their neighbors, friends, or family, and to recognize their timeless sacrifice and listen to their stories.



    Date Taken: 03.28.2021
    Date Posted: 03.28.2021 18:32
    Story ID: 392441
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US

    Web Views: 292
    Downloads: 1