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Memorial Day parade, ceremony slated Monday

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Damian A. Bess, the deputy to the commander of Letterkenny Army Depot, will be the speaker at Greencastle's Memorial Day ceremony on Monday, May 28.

Activities begin with the Memorial Day parade at 10:30 a.m. It will form in the area of Allison Street and travel west on Baltimore Street to Cedar Hill Cemetery, where the ceremony will be held.

In addition to Bess' remarks, the ceremony will feature opening and closing prayers by Pastor Jeff Ehko of Cornerstone Bible Church.

This year's Memorial Day observance is being organized by Greencastle's Harry D. Zeigler VFW Post 6319.

If it rains, the ceremony will be held in the Greencastle-Antrim High School auditorium.

About the speaker 

Bess, a native of New York, enlisted in the Naval Reserves in 1986 and served with Fleet Composite Squadron-12, then re-enlisted in the active duty Navy and served aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1994, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and attended The Basic School and then the Basic Engineer Officer’s Course at Camp Lejeune.

He served with operational units and headquarters from the rank of lieutenant to lieutenant colonel, including positions as platoon commander, company commander, battalion logistics officer, battalion executive officer and deputy G-4. He was involved in the Indian Ocean Tsunami Relief Operation and deployed in support of combat operations in Iraq, as well as to Camp Doha, Kuwait.

His assignments also included Recruiting Station, Harrisburg; Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan; Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina; and Headquarters, Marine Corps in the Pentagon.

Since retiring from the Marine Corps 2015, Bess been the director of public works at Letterkenny Army Depot and currently serves as the deputy to the commander.