KING CITY — The centennial celebration of the end of World War I — Veterans Day 2018 — coincided with honors being presented to two local VFW members last Sunday.
Cliff Williams was named Veteran of the Year for Monterey County District 3, and Bruce Peters was named Veteran of the Year for King City Post 6747. A ceremony recognizing the community service of both men was held Nov. 11 during the 27th Annual Veteran of the Year Awards at the King City VFW Hall.
“We’ve had 12 members from this post that have been nominated as Monterey County Veterans of the Year,” said Post Commander Lorenzo Espino Sr. “Of those 12, four are from the last four years in a row: Bob Lockwood in 2015, myself in 2016, Charlie DeSchepper in 2017 and this year Cliff, so we’re fortunate to have that.”
“I just like helping people. If I can make a difference in somebody’s life, I accomplish that,” said Williams of his community involvement. He said he was surprised to discover he had been honored by the veterans of the county.
Williams was given a quilt by the King City Post 6747 Auxiliary members for his past commandership. President Sandy Lockwood described the quilts as being unique to each past commander, with the one for Williams being a lap quilt decorated with stars and stripes.
Additionally, the King City post began a Firefighter of the Year award, with the inaugural honor being given to Williams.
“Cliff has over 40 years of service to the City of King, and to the counties of Monterey and San Benito, as a full time and volunteer firefighter,” said Espino, who went on to describe a list of community service, and among that being Williams’ involvement in getting a King City display of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall in October 2016.
In addition to the post working to honor Vietnam veterans, the King City VFW works to honor fallen veterans, including the Avenue of Flags, with notable involvement by Peters.
“I just like to help out, that’s all,” said Peters of his community involvement. “I don’t get to spend as much time here helping as I would like, because I work at Fort Hunter Liggett … but I try as much as I can.”
Of his work with the Avenue of Flags at the King City Cemetery, he said, “I really like the feeling you get when you see all those flags up.”
“Bruce has worked a lot with the cemetery Avenue of Flags and he started that because he wanted to make sure everything was done right over there,” said Espino. “If you haven’t seen the Avenue of Flags, go to the cemetery. Take a ride over there and see what a great job he has done.”