Father, son fallen veterans to be honored Thursday at Incline church

Miranda Jacobson

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The Military Officers Association of America is hosting a picnic dinner on Thursday, Aug 19, at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Incline Village to honor Neal Ward, and his son Neal “Clint” Ward Jr.

The father and son both flew for the US Air Forces and are now inurned in the community columbarium in St. Patrick’s.

“We thought that this was worthy of almost being an Arlington West, Tomb of the Known Soldier, because they’re both inurned together in a beautiful location in the St. Patrick’s columbarium,” said MOAA-Lake Tahoe Chapter President and veteran Jim Clark.

Clark organized the event after reading an article published by the Tribune in 2019 announcing the discovery of the remains of Neal, Jr. The article then helped lead Clark to a living relative of the Wards who lives in Reno.

“I got quite a bit of information about the family and their tremendous sacrifices on behalf of the United States,” Clark said.

Neal, Jr. was killed in action in 1969 during the Vietnam War. His remains were found and returned to be inurned with his father, who served in the US Army Air Force as a B17 bomber pilot before being shot down over journey and being held hostage for the rest of the war.

Ward Sr. moved to Incline Village after the war ended, and became a contractor who eventually built the original St. Patrick’s Episocopal Church where he worshipped and taught Sunday school.

Now, Clark and the MOAA-LTC want to honor the family as best they can.

“We recognize the importance of people making the ultimate sacrifice, and we want to honor what they did and try to take care of their families,” Clark said.

The veteran’s chapter will be accepting donations, but all proceeds will be going to the Civil Air Patrol, a U.S. Air Force auxiliary dedicated to training young men and women between the ages of 12 and 21 to fly. The surviving family members of Neal Ward, Sr. and Neal Ward, Jr. have also given the MOAA-LTC permission to start a charitable foundation to support the Northern Nevada CAP.

This event is open to all. Donations will be accepted at the event in the form of a check addressed to MOA.

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