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Memorial to those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to be unveiled Saturday in Bakersfield


The honorable discharge lapel pin represents the honest and faithful completion of military service. The symbol — an eagle with spread wings, perched upon a wreath — the "ruptured duck" as it came to be known, is the official award of honorable discharge for all branches of the military.

The Fraternity of the Ruptured Duck, a local combat veterans organization, will unveil a granite and bronze memorial this weekend dedicated to the servicemen and women who participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Fraternity, which takes its name from the honorable discharge lapel button that represents service members' faithful completion of service, will hold the ceremony at noon Saturday at Lengthwise Brewing Co., 7700 District Blvd. in Bakersfield, the group said in a news release.

A small ceremony will be held and a new flag will be raised shortly after the unveiling.

A booth with the nonprofit group's information will be available for those who want to learn how to get involved or to contribute.

The public is invited.

"It is our goal to help expand the veteran’s social circle, of those affected by the war on terror and its compounding effects," organizers said in the release.

Some of the goals of the organization include the following:

• Enable members to share feelings related to their military experiences, including challenges related to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

• Establish a network of friends for peer counseling.

• Schedule monthly and annual events for social interaction and improving life skills, and learning coping methods.

• Hold social and recreational events for members.

• Memorialize fallen brothers-in-arms.

• Participate in veterans’ events within the community.

The granite memorial was provided and engraved by Greenlawn Funeral Homes in Bakersfield to honor those who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Reporter Steven Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter: @semayerTBC.