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Offerings include parades, dinners and trail rides

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FARMINGTON — Veterans Day is a week away, but this year several events are planned over the next several days throughout San Juan County to honor local vets in advance of — or on — the Nov. 11 federal holiday.

The first event will take place Nov. 7, when the Four Corners Federated Republican Women's meeting will be highlighted by a presentation by retired Adm. Bruce Black Sr. on "Why We Remember Why We Fight." A donation will be presented to Kerry Rivera, president of the Blue Star Mothers; and Beverly Charley of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Affairs will talk about the recent Stand Down event for veterans in need. The meeting takes place at 11:30 a.m. at the Piñon Hills Community Church, 5101 N. Dustin Ave. Lunch is $13.

The Farmington Indian Center, 200 W. Elm St., will present its annual dinner to honor, thank and recognize all veterans and their families at 11 a.m. Nov. 8. Gallup author John Lewis Taylor will discuss his new book "Navajo Scouts During the Apache Wars." The cost is $5. Call 505-599-1524 or visit fmtn.org/IndianCenter.

The Northern Agency Veterans Organization is planning a special meeting at 9 a.m. Nov. 8 at the Shiprock Chapter house. Call Wallace Charley at 505-368-1078 for more information.

The Shiprock Chapter of the Navajo Nation will be holding a Veterans Day dinner at 3 p.m. Nov. 8 at the chapter house in Shiprock. The event features speaker Rick Lopez and a ceremony honoring Gold Star Mothers. All veterans, Navajo and non-Navajo, are invited. Call 505-608-0829 for more information.

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The Tooh Haltsooí Veterans Organization will present a Veterans Day parade at 9 a.m. on Nov. 10 in Sheep Springs. A dinner will be held afterward in the chapter house in Sheep Springs. Call Fernando L. Foster, secretary-treasurer, at 505-406-9205 for more information.

The second annual T'l Altsisi Horseback Trail Ride to Honor Veterans will take place Nov. 11 in Littlewater. Riders need to check in at 8 a.m., while the lineup for flag bearers is at 8:45 a.m., and the ride starts at 9 a.m. at mile marker 73 on the east side of U.S. Highway 491. The ride will come to an end at mile marker 68 at MC Ranch Road. There will be an open mic session and live music during a break in the ride. Call Elouise Brown at 505-592-1453.

Aztec will present a Veterans Day parade at 11 a.m. on Main Avenue on Nov. 11. The event is sponsored by Aztec VFW Post 614, and all interested parties are encouraged to participate. Call 505-334-8842.

A pair of local restaurants will offer free meals to veterans and service members on Nov. 11. D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro, 5150 E. Main St., No. 101; and the Texas Roadhouse at the Animas Valley Mall, 4601 E. Main St., will provide complimentary meals to all active-duty service personnel and veterans of the armed forces on the holiday.

D.H. Lescombes will extend the offer throughout the day, with qualifying diners being able to choose from a special Veterans Day menu. Those wishing to take advantage of the offer will need to show proof of military service or wear their uniform. The offer does not include alcohol or gratuity.

At the Texas Roadhouse, qualifying diners will be able to choose from a Veterans Day menu from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They will need to provide proof of service.

The Northern Edge Casino, 2752 Indian Service Road in Farmington, will hold an honor parade as part of its Veterans Day celebration at 6 p.m. Nov. 11. All casino guests who are veterans or active service members are invited to walk the casino floor in the parade, which will be led by the Upper Fruitland Color and Honor Guard.

Staff writer Noel Lyn Smith contributed to this story. Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610.

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