Local veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice as well as all those who have served will be honored at special Memorial Day ceremonies next Monday, May 26, at local cemeteries.
The annual ceremonies will be held in three locations in North Big Horn County: 8 a.m. at the Byron Cemetery, 9 a.m. at the Cowley Cemetery and 10 a.m. at the Lovell Cemetery.
The public is encouraged to attend any or all of the ceremonies to honor veterans. Local veterans, commanded by longtime Wyoming National Guardsman Rich Fink, will form a color guard and conduct the ceremonies.
Each ceremony will begin with a ceremonial march to a cadence provided by drummer Meg Anderson, and after a welcome by Fink, Lovell Elementary Students directed by music teacher Chauna Bischoff will sing a patriotic number, later singing a second number.
Chaplain Reed Williams will give a prayer, and Terry Wilkerson will lay flowers at each site.
This year’s speaker will be former Lovell resident Matt Huckfeldt, a retired chief warrant officer who served in the armed forces for some 40 years.
Huckfeldt, 61, was born in Torrington and attended and graduated from the University of Wyoming, receiving a commission through ROTC in the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant. He served on active duty from November of 1975 through September of 1979 in a maintenance unit in Germany, then returned to Wyoming and started an auto repair shop in Basin.
He joined the Wyoming Army National Guard in May of 1980 and served in Service Battery, 1-49th Field Artillery, in Lovell as the ammunition officer for two years and as commander for four years. He also served as commander of Battery B, 1-49th Field Artillery, in Cody for two years.
Huckfeldt became the fulltime property book officer for the 1-49th Field Artillery Battalion and moved to Lovell in 1988. He served in that position until 1998, when he was selected to be the property book officer in the Joint Forces Headquarters for Wyoming, moving to Cheyenne, serving until Sept. of 2007, when he was deployed to Kuwait with the National Guard Support Team, serving in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.
He was selected to assist in the conversion of the state’s artillery units from tube artillery to missile artillery and retired from the U.S. Army in 2011. He has been married to wife Linda for 39 years, and the couple has one son, Clint, who with wife Brenna lives in Thermopolis.
“Taps” will be performed by David Peck and one other trumpeter yet to be determined at press time.
By David Peck