GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (KTXL) — A local county is partnered with businesses to honor members of the military who served and continue to serve.
Outside of the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building on Oct. 26, there was a sense of peace, quiet and freedom. Inside the building were those who fought for that freedom.
Peter Vasalakis served in Vietnam in the early 1960s. He was one of the dozens of veterans who attended the special ceremony to honor those who serve and served.
Put on by Nevada County, the ceremony recognized service members from each of the six military branches, including retired U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Claude Hessel. Hessel said he remembers a time during the Vietnam era when members of the military were disrespected.
“People would spit on you. People would call you names,” he told FOX40.
But now, more than half a century later, there is a completely different atmosphere. The ceremony in Grass Valley came ahead of Nevada County’s first-ever Military Appreciation Week, which started Saturday, Nov. 6, and continues through Sunday, Nov. 14.
“I think it’s a huge, huge thing,” Hessel said. “Local community has really stepped up to support our military.”
In Grass Valley, the appreciation for those who served and continue to serve extends beyond the walls of the Veterans Memorial Building. As part of the upcoming Military Appreciation Week, 83 businesses in town will offer discounts for veterans and active-duty members of the military.
Among those businesses is the Scraps Dog Bakery.
Chelsey Amesbury is the owner of the local family-run business, which features canned foods, toys, leashes and a fresh bakery for dogs. Any current or former member of the military will get a 10% discount.
“If we can take a little bit off their plate by offering some money off, it’s the least we can do,” Amesbury explained. “For all the work they’ve done for us, a discount on toys, treats or whatever makes their dog happy.”
Veterans at the event said they hope that sense of appreciation spreads throughout the country.
“Respect us and don’t forget us,” Vasalakis said.