Changing of the Colors ceremony held
MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel Area Joint Veterans Committee held its 446th Changing of the Colors flag ceremony Sept. 22 at the Susquehanna Bank flag pole in honor and memory of a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Larissa Justina Stanczyk-Voeckler was born Sept. 21, 1986, in Danville, a daughter of Francis and Bonnie (Weinreich) Stanczyk. She was a 2005 graduate of Mount Carmel Area High School.
Stanczyk-Voeckler enlisted in the U.S. Navy on June 28, 2005, in Harrisburg and was honorably discharged as an operations specialist 3 on May 13, 2008, at Personnel Support Detachment Balboa, San Diego, Calif. She was a member of the initial fleet, serving on the USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 (a Nimitz class aircraft carrier) after its commissioning to active deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. She received the following medals: National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Battle "E" Ribbon and the Enlisted Surface Warfare Badge. Total service to her country was two years, 10 months, 16 days of which sea service was two years, one month.
Stanczyk-Voeckler died Aug. 13, 2013, and is buried in St. Joseph's Cemetery, Mount Carmel Township. Surviving are her husband, Jesse Voeckler, a son, her parents and a sister.
She was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Mount Carmel.
The flag flown the previous month was in honor and memory of Edward W. Dersavage, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Taps was played on the bugle by Ann Ray Begis as the flag was lowered by Andrew Bubnis. The flag was folded by Walt Summers and Bubnis and presented to Dersavage's wife, Theresa.
The Stanczyk-Voeckler flag was escorted to the service by Connie Andrews. It was presented to Summers by Stanczyk-Voeckler's husband, Jesse. Anthony Candelora raised the flag as the national anthem was played. David Berezovske read the military records of both veterans. "God Bless America" was sung by all and the ceremony ended with a silent salute to all veterans.
Summers thanked the families and friends of both veterans in attendance for their participation in the ceremony.
Charles Noskoviak carried the American flag and Joseph Lutcavage carried the Pennsylvania flag. Norman Nye and Larry Latsko served as the rifle escort. James Kealy provided traffic control. Also participating was William Begis.
During the ceremony, the POW-MIA flag was retired and a new flag raised.
Susquehanna Bank was thanked for displaying Stanczyk-Voeckler's name on its message board.
The next flag ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 20 at Second and Oak streets, when the flag will be raised in honor and memory of Michael Molesevich, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Area veterans and the public are invited to attend.