At the majestic National WWII Memorial in our nation’s capital, the Washington Oxi Day Foundation honored Efthemios J. “Tim” Bentas, Stephen Cherpelis and Peter Vergados with its annual Service Awards for courageously risking their lives in WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
On the sunny afternoon of October 28th, amid a quintet’s military medley and the Memorial’s 50 fountains, an audience of international and American dignitaries witnessed the presentation of the Vasilios S. Haseotes Service Award to WWII Veteran Bentas by Zacharie Haseotes Vinios; the presentation of the Calamos Service Award to Vietnam Veteran Vergados by decorated Vietnam Veteran John Calamos; and the presentation of the Oxi Service Award to Korean Veteran Cherpelis by Greek Defense Attaché Col. Panagiotis Vlachopoulos.
At this hallowed ground in line with the US Capitol, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, prior to the award presentations, the highest-ranking Greek American in the American military, and Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lt General Andrew Poppas, delivered an inspirational keynote address.
Participants included Defense Attachés representing 14 different countries from around the world, including: Cyprus, Germany, France and the UK; Belguim and Romania; Norway and the Netherlands; Australia and New Zealand; South Africa and South Korea.