Vietnam vet honored at flag raising ceremony
MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel Area Joint Veterans Committee held its 436th Changing of the Colors flag ceremony Sunday, Nov. 25, in honor and memory of a veteran of the Vietnam War at the Susquehanna Bank flag pole.
David Peter Barvitskie was born Oct. 3, 1949, the son of John and Theresa (Halgash) Barvitskie. He was a 1967 graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School.
Barvitskie entered the Marine Corps Oct. 29, 1968, at Wilkes-Barre and was honorably discharged as a corporal Oct. 10, 1971, at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
A field radio operator with Battery I, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, he received the following medals: Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, 1st Award, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm and frame, Vietnam Campaign Medal with device and the Rifle Expert Badge.
He served in Vietnam from June 28, 1969, to June 23, 1970. Total service to his country was three years, one month and nine days, of which, foreign service was one year. Following his tour of duty, he was transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve Forces, Kansas City, Mo.
On Sept. 21, 1974, Barvitskie married the former Bernadette Kelly at St. Stephen's Protomartyr Church, Coal Township.
He was a graduate of Williamsport Area Community College and Susquehanna University, where he earned an associate degree in business management. He was last employed as a draftsman with Metso Minerals, Danville.
Barvitskie was a member of Mother Cabrini Church, Shamokin.
Barvitskie passed away Sept. 29, 2012, and is buried in All Saints Cemetery, Bear Gap. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, two grandchildren, two brothers and a sister.
The flag that was flown for the past month was in honor and memory of Robert G. Smith, who served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. Taps was played on the bugle by Ann Ray Begis as the flag was lowered by Anthony Candelora. The flag was folded by William Begis, Walter Summers and Candelora, and was presented to Smith's wife, Venitta, by Summers.
The Barvitskie flag was escorted to the service by Andrew Lukoskie. The flag was presented by Barvitskie's grandson, Mason Barvitskie, to Summers who raised the flag as the National Anthem was placed. David Berezovske read the military records of both veterans. Summers lead everyone in reciting the Lord's Prayer. 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 the rifle escort was provided by James Kealy and Andrew Bubnis. Connie Andrews provided traffic control.
The next flag ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at Second and Oak streets, when the flag will be raised in honor and memory of William S. Whitmore, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Area veterans and the public are invited to attend.