DOUGLAS — The Sons of the American Legion Fred Hilburn Post #11 will be hosting a variety of Veterans Day activities Thursday at the Cochise County Fairgrounds on Leslie Canyon Road.
A parade along the main section of the fairgrounds will take place at 10 a.m., followed by a Veterans Day ceremony scheduled to start about 11 a.m. Douglas Mayor Donald Huish will offer some remarks, followed by a speech from this year’s Veterans Day honoree. U.S. Army retired Maj. Betty Anaya Arnold.
Arnold was born and raised in Douglas, graduating from Douglas High School in 1972. She attended Cochise College for one year before moving to Phoenix.
In 1975, she joined the Arizona Air National Guard and served six years as the legal assistant to the state judge advocate general. She transferred as a sergeant to the Arizona Army National Guard in 1981. There, she was in the Army ROTC simultaneous program at Arizona State University. Arnold was promoted to second lieutenant at ASU where she also received a bachelor of science degree in business administration (human resource management and industrial psychology).
Upon her commission, Betty served as an officer on active duty at the state National Guard. She was the human resource manager for the active guard program for the state Army and Air National Guard. In addition, Arnold was appointed as the representative for the women’s advisory commission on issues of military women in Washington, D.C.
In 1991 as a captain, she transferred to the headquarters of the 1120th Quartermaster Battalion in Tucson, where she served as the battalion training officer before transferring back to the state headquarters in 1996, where she was promoted to the rank of major.
Arnold retired in 2000, having 25 years of honorable service. She went into a career in education and spent 20 years teaching at the high school and elementary level.
Arnold is now fully retired and enjoys time with her grandchildren, volunteering in an elementary classroom and doing her favorite hobby, acrylic painting.
Following the ceremony and Arnold’s remarks, there will be live entertainment courtesy of the White Mountain Apache Tribe dancers, Rudy Bernal, Gemini, DJ Crazy Pony, Davy Morales, I.N.V.U. and the Douglas High School choir.
The Tailgaterz Truck Club will have a Show and Shine starting at 10 a.m. There will be jumping castles, kid zone static displays, food trucks and a variety of vendors.
Special guests for the Douglas ceremony are expected to include Department of Arizona Commander Ben Headen, Department of Arizona Auxiliary President Jenny Molina and Area “A” Vice Commander Steve Spearl.
The public is invited to attend the Veterans Day events and is asked to bring lawn chairs or blankets and show support of veterans.