Veteran couple reflect on service, honor others in Grand | SkyHiNews.com

Veteran couple reflect on service, honor others in Grand

By Amy Golden
agolden@skyhinews.com

Lynnae Boyd began her military career in 1982 when she and 63 other women became the third class of female cadets to graduate from the US Military Academy.

Now retired in Grand County, Boyd applied for the academy just two years after laws mandated that 10% of each class accepted into West Point be women.

Boyd was one of 120 young women in the class of 1,200 cadets her first year. The veteran said she chose that path for both the challenge and the quality of the education she received.

Veterans Breakfast

Monday, Nov. 11

Buffet from 7:30-8:50 a.m.

Program from 9:10-11 a.m.

The Commons at Snow Mountain Ranch

Sponsored by the Grand County Veteran Service Office

“To go to a military academy, you have to be there for your own reasons,” Boyd said. “You can’t be there for somebody else. It was challenging, but I think the rewards very much outweighed the challenges.”

After graduating, Boyd was commissioned as a second lieutenant and served five years active duty in the medical service core. She then spent nine years in the Army Reserve, which is where she met her husband of 22 years, Jerry Boyd.

Lynnae eventually transitioned to civilian life after 15 years of service. After retiring, Boyd and her husband, a 20-year veteran, moved to a house outside of Granby in 2014.

It was here that they began their involvement with the then-newly revitalized American Legion Post 88, the oldest chartered veterans organization in Grand.

“One of the first things we did when we got here, we were invited to the Veterans Day breakfast,” Lynnae said. “Grand County’s a very veteran-friendly area, both from a community base as well as from other veterans, which is very, very unique.”

Grand County features a surprisingly large number of veterans for the size of the community. According to 2018 census estimates, 9.1% of residents in Grand are veterans, almost 2% higher than the Colorado average.

Veterans in the county have served in wars that span recent American history, with veterans who have served from World War II up to the most recent.

Lynnae was drawn to the Legion because of the opportunity to perform honor guards at veteran funerals in the county. The Legion honors seven to 10 veterans every year with these services, according to Lynnae.

The couple’s involvement only grew in the Legion and Jerry became its commander in 2016.

Monday’s Veteran’s Breakfast will be the Boyds’ seventh in the county, as they attended two before moving to Grand full-time. Taking place Monday in the Commons at Snow Mountain Ranch, the breakfast starts with a buffet from 7:30-8:50 a.m. and a program to honor veterans from 9:10-11 a.m.

The breakfast on Monday will feature a ceremony to honor World War II veterans and their families with a presentation of four Quilts of Valor made by the Peaks ‘n Pines Quilt Guild.

The breakfast, which is attended by more than 200 people, also features the Minne-singers from Granby Elementary, a keynote speech by Director Richard Tremain of the Colorado Department of Veterans Affairs and a ceremony honoring prisoners of war.

“It’s a very meaningful day,” Lynnae said. “It’s a time where veterans can come together.”

The Legion visited elementary schools across the county on Thursday to speak with students about the military and the different opportunities available.

“The military isn’t only about being in combat,” Jerry said. “There’s millions of people serving all around the world, all the time, in various types of positions and duties and responsibilities to protect and secure our freedom.”

One of the big goals for the Legion this year was to place markers on veteran graves across Grand. There are 350 veterans at cemeteries around the county and the Legion has secured the funds for these markers.

Another veterans group in Grand, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, has already placed markers at the Kremmling cemetery and the Legion was able to add markers in Grand Lake for Memorial Day this year.

The Legion had hoped to place the markers in the rest of the county’s towns by Veterans Day, but because of the October weather they’ll have to wait until the spring. Jerry said they hope to have the markers placed by Memorial Day of next year.


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