The Rotary Club of Southwest Eureka will present its annual
Veterans Day program on Friday, November 11 at the Adorni Center
in Eureka. Each year the club, in partnership with the City of Eureka,
presents a program to honor and thank more than 8,000 veterans
and servicemen and women of the North Coast, almost a million and
a half California veterans and, through them, more than 18 million
American veterans living in the United States.
“After two years of Covid hiatus, when our club couldn’t offer an in-
person experience, we—and the community-at-large—are looking
forward to coming together to express our gratitude to our North
Coast veterans and to recognize their commitment and service to our
country,” said club President Scott Pesch
For some veterans, this program will be their first time attending a
Veterans Day event. Sgt. Blaine O’Shaughnessy, U.S. Army, (Ret.)
is one of these local veterans. After serving in Egypt for six years, he
served as a horizontal construction engineer in Afghanistan while
stationed in Base Sharana on the Pakistan border. Sgt.
O’Shaughnessy’s job was to set up combat posts to be used by U.S.
and Afghan military, to clear roads in troubled areas, and to expand
base facilities for American soldiers. He returned home in 2012 and
is now a general contractor for Curb Appeal Construction and a
member of the Rotary Club of Eureka.
“These events are important,” he says. “The men and women of the
United States military put their lives on hold to serve this
country—they always have. Veterans Day is that one day for
remembrance and respect. The older I get, the more I appreciate this
opportunity and want to be a part of that tradition—and I plan to
continue to be a part of it in the future,”.
The featured speaker for this year's Veterans Day observance will be
U. S. Coast Guard CDR George R. Suchanek, Sector Humboldt Bay.
CDR Suchanek’s military service has included postings to Fort
Rucker, Alabama; Budingen, Germany; Kosovo; Iraq; Borinquen,
Puerto Rico. He has served as a Department of Homeland Security
Planner in the Thirteenth District, Seattle.
CDR George Suchanek reported aboard as the Chief Pilot and
Response Department Head of Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay in
July of 2022. He is responsible for Search and Rescue Operations
and response assets that include two surf stations, one 87ft Coastal
Patrol boat, and air station with three MH-65 Dolphin helicopters
covering 250 nautical miles of rugged coast line.
CDR Suchanek’s top awards include the Bronze Star Medal,
Meritorious Service Medal, two Air Medals, three Coast Guard
Commendation Medals, two Army Commendation Medals and
Campaign medals for both Kosovo and Iraq.
CDR Suchanek graduated from Southern Oregon University in 1997
with a degree in Criminology and is a 2009 graduate of the Navy
Safety School. In 2016, he earned his master’s Degree in Public
Administration from the American Military University. CDR Suchanek
has over 4,500 flight hours and was previously designated an MH-
65D Flight Examiner/Instructor pilot. He is originally from Redding,
California, has two children and has been married for over 14 years
to his wife, Brenda.
“It is our privelege to welcome CDR Suchanek back to the North
Coast,” said Event Coordinator Eddie Morgan.
As has become a decades-long tradition, a variety of organizations
and individuals will lend their talents, skills, and support to this year’s
program including: City of Eureka, Eureka High School, Fortuna High
School, Humboldt Bay Fire, Humboldt Harmonaires, Humboldt
Highlanders Pipe Band, members of the Redwood Forest Chapter
NSDAR who will provide refreshments after the program, Maggie
Fleming, Girl Scout Troop 70181, Mad River Community Veterans
Honor Guard, United States Coast Guard whose Coasties will provide
a flyover after the event and present the “Missing Man” ceremony,
Rebecca Crow who will play “Taps”, and Teen Challenge.
The Adorni Center is located at 1011 Waterfront Drive in Eureka. The
program begins at 11AM and is free and handicapped-accessible.
For further information, call 707- 572 - 4101 or go to swrotary.org.