Veterans May Be Gone But They Aren’t Forgotten

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is this Saturday. This is a great time to thank a veteran for their service and thank the veteran’s family for their sacrifices as many experienced time separated from their loved ones.

Our World War II and Korean War veterans are passing away, but they are not forgotten. One WWII veteran had an impact in my life, and he is the reason I started writing this article.

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Max Van Der Wyk passed away on Oct. 17. As many of you know, Max was a Navy veteran. He served during World War II and the Korean War. He was a great American and a patriot. He organized countless veteran events for Southern California communities and veterans. His passion for helping others resulted in his authoring this article for years. He often expressed his appreciation for the men and women serving in our armed forces, and he had the utmost respect for his fellow veterans.

Max wanted a veterans memorial in Ventura County that all veterans would be proud of, and he worked tirelessly on the plans to improve the Ventura County Veterans Memorial. In fact, there is a plaque at the base of the American flagpole at the memorial placed there by other veterans as a tribute to Max Van Der Wyk.
I helped Max write a few of these articles before he had a stroke. It was important for him to inform veterans about their benefits. He also wrote about his love of the country. In remembrance of Max and the many Veterans Day ceremonies he organized, I have included the following passage he wrote on what it meant to him to be an American:
“I have enjoyed the brand of freedom offered by the United States of America for most of my 90 plus years because my parents and grandparents realized this was the only place on our planet that could provide what the constitution and the bill of rights promised them. For sure some of our people, back then were shortchanged by prejudice and unfounded hate. Because here, it is possible to fight for right, be able to succeed and savor the reward for all time. Our freedom continues to be fine-tuned.
“The overwhelming majority of my generation had no second thoughts about doing our duty! Personally, I was called back to active duty for the Korean War, as were many of my buddies. Those of us who are still alive almost to a man appreciate and admire our brave active volunteers in the modern military service. They are fighting wars completely different from those of the past. They faithfully and diligently do tour after tour ignoring shallow thinking protestors. Please accept our heartfelt thanks and wishes for a safe return to our country, and enjoy the kind of life you deserve and have so honorably earned!”

— Max Van Der Wyk, 15-year post commander of Chapter 24 of the Disabled American Veterans in Ventura and 65-year member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars

You are invited to a celebration-of-life ceremony in honor of Max at 1 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Elks Lodge, 2126 Knoll Drive in Ventura.

He would want me to encourage you to attend one of the many Veterans Day ceremonies taking place throughout the county.

Nov. 11 Veterans Day events

Display your American flag and consider attending these events:


8 a.m.: Flags at the Veterans Memorial Triangle, corner of Moorpark and Los Angeles avenues.

10 a.m.: Moorpark Veterans Memorial, Spring Road and Flinn Avenue.


7-10 a.m.: Ojai American Legion Auxiliary Unit 482, 843 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. Free breakfast for veterans. Lunch with a variety of soups will be served from noon to 4:30 p.m. with free desserts.


10 a.m.: Oxnard Veterans Day parade starting at City Hall, 305 W. Third St.

11 a.m.: Veterans Day celebration at Oxnard Plaza Park, 500 South C St.


8:30 a.m.: Veterans Day ceremony, City Hall, 250 N. Ventura Road.


11 a.m.: Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park, East Ventura Street.


11 a.m.: Veterans Day ceremony at Rancho Tapo Veterans Plaza, 3700 Avenida Simi.


8 a.m.: Veterans Day breakfast and USO show. Seniors and their families can pick up tickets at the Goebel Adult Community Center with a four-ticket limit per person because seating is limited. Tickets must be picked up on a first-come, first-served basis at the Goebel Center front desk, 1385 E. Janss Road.

10 a.m.: Veterans Day event at Holy Trinity Church, 1 W. Avenida de Los Arboles.

11 a.m.: Veterans Day ceremony, Thousand Oaks Veterans’ Memorial at Conejo Creek Park North, 1379 E. Janss Road.


11 a.m.: Veterans Day ceremony, Veterans Memorial at the Ventura County Government Center, 800 S. Victoria Ave.

I am coordinating a complete Veterans Day listing with The article will appear in Friday’s edition with a complete listing for all the Veterans Day ceremonies. 

Other happenings

Tuesday: 2:30 p.m., Gold Coast Veterans Foundation, 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd, Camarillo. Veterans Affairs survivors benefits briefing presented by Moira Flanders, director of the Office of Survivors Assistance in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Attendees will receive a booklet with information on the benefits and services available to survivors of a deceased service member or veteran.The booklet covers eligibility, financial benefits, educational benefits, health benefits and more. A VA representative will be available to discuss support to survivors and dependents. For more information, call Michael Cook at 565-3759.

Wednesday through Nov. 12: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., “We Remember, Ventura to Vietnam and Back,” 327 W. Fifth St. in the former Social Security Building in Oxnard. For those who missed or remember the event at the Ventura County Museum, George Sandoval is recreating the exhibit. More than 42 years after the fall of Saigon, this exhibit pays tribute to the 108 young men from Ventura County who were killed in action and recognizes the region’s surviving veterans by telling their stories.

Wednesday: 5:30 p.m., veterans dinner, 632 South D St., Oxnard. The Oxnard Knights of Columbus will host a veterans’ dinner. For more information or reservations, call 483-1750.

Friday: U.S. Marine Corps 242nd birthday anniversary. In 1775, the Continental Congress established that the Continental Marine Corps be formed with two battalions to support the Revolutionary War. Happy birthday to the U.S. Marine Corps.

Friday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley. To honor the men and women who serve in the United States armed forces, the museum will host its annual Veterans Day event. Activities will include live music, a Civil War encampment, a military vehicle display and a program honoring all branches of our military. Visit for a listing of times and events.

Saturday: Veterans ride for free on Veterans Day. Veterans ride free on the following bus systems: Camarillo Area Transit, Gold Coast Transit, Moorpark City Transit, Simi Valley Transit, Thousand Oaks Transit, VCTC Intercity Transit and Valley Express. Accepted forms of ID include military ID, CAC, VA card, veteran designation on driver’s license and DD214. Call 800-438-1112 for more information.

Nov. 13: 11 a.m., Gold Coast Veterans Foundation’s 12th annual golf tournament in support of veterans, Spanish Hills Country Club, 999 Crestview Drive, Camarillo. This charity golf tournament raises funds to support local veterans and provide services at the Gold Coast Veterans Foundation’s Veterans Connection in Camarillo. Prizes awarded for holes-in-one, plus longest drive, closest-to-the-pin and putting contests. Cost is $200 per golfer. Register online at or call 482-6550.

Nov. 16: 11 a.m., Fillmore Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Veterans Day salute lunch at the Fillmore Active Adult Center, 533 Santa Clara Ave.; $7 under 60 years of age, $3 over 60.

Dec. 16: Moorpark American Legion Post 502 is conducting a fundraising drive to support Wreaths Across America at several cemeteries in Ventura County. This national wreath laying is held annually. People solemnly walk the graves silently saluting and tearfully placing wreaths on the stones. Wreaths cost $15 each. Help us place a wreath on every veteran’s gravesite. To donate, visit Deadline to purchase wreaths is Dec. 1. Call Denis at 659-2199 for more information.

If your Veterans Day event is not listed, email If you are a veteran in need or would like to learn about veteran programs, or are in need of health care items such as wheelchairs, walkers, or a hospital bed call, please contact JC Oberst at 482-6550 or