San Rafael, CA – A retired U.S. Navy captain from Novato who spent much of his 33-year military career deployed in special operations overseas will serve as the keynote speaker for Marin County’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, November 11, at the Marin Veterans Memorial Auditorium in San Rafael.
Retired Navy Captain Richard Sisk, the keynote speaker for the Veterans Day ceremony, is flanked by his sons Brian (left) and Sean (right).
Captain Richard Sisk was commissioned in 1981 through the Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, RI, and retired in 2014 as deputy commander of a Joint Special Operations Task Force based in Bahrain. He held a variety of intelligence and training positions, he and managed four special warfare reserve units during the course of his career, including SEAL Teams 1, 3 and 5. A 10-year civilian career was interrupted by a recall to active duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Today he works in a civilian capacity as a global force manager for Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado, CA.
The ceremony, which begins at 9:30 a.m., will mark in the 101st anniversary of the World War I armistice agreement, which was signed in the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. A free barbecue lunch for veterans and their families will be offered afterward immediately after the traditional ceremonies just outside the Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium.
The annual Veterans Day event, presented by the Marin County United Veterans Council and sponsored by the County of Marin, honors all Americans who served in the line of duty with our military forces, with a special emphasis on Marin’s own heroes. Event officials are actively seeking veterans from recent overseas conflicts in the Middle East to attend the ceremony and become active in Marin’s veterans groups.
Patriotic songs will played by the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Non-Marching Band, aka the Sewer Band, to begin the ceremony. Later, Marin-based vocalist/actor Susan Zelinsky and her students from Sun Valley Elementary will sing the national anthem and “God Bless America.” Cadets from the U.S. Air Force Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) based at Novato High School will present the colors.
The indoor session begins with music at 9:30 a.m., and the official ceremony begins at 10. After the indoor ceremony, the program continues outdoors in front of the memorials on the Avenue of the Flags. A moment of silence will be observed and wreaths will be laid at the foot of the statues to honor fallen comrades. Refreshments will be served in the Redwood Foyer of the Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium after the outdoor event.
Note that the event’s start time 30 minutes earlier than the annual Memorial Day event so as to accommodate the playing of “Taps” at the start of the 11th hour of the day, as per tradition. For more information on the morning ceremonies, contact Ray Mullin of the Marin County United Veterans Council at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Marin County Veterans Services Office of the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has a staff of four people to provide timely assistance to the estimated 12,000 military vets living in the county. Veterans’ most acute needs are in applying for federal benefits, pension claims and health care services. Most veterans need more assistance as they get older, and new veterans from recent foreign conflicts need aid as they assimilate back to civilian life.
The Veterans Services Office is at 10 North San Pedro Road in San Rafael, across the street from the Marin County Civic Center. Learn more about the Veterans Service Office at www.marinhhs.org/veterans-services.