MOUNT DORA — When Gordon Mason was planning the Veterans Day service for AMVETS Post 1992 in Mount Dora not long ago, he was looking for something special to mark the occasion.


He found it during a chance conversation with Crystal Blasjo.


Blasjo told him how her husband, Green Beret Sgt. Aaron Blasjo, was killed when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, in 2011. It was Blasjo’s third tour of duty in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. When he died, Crystal was left to raise their 8-month-old son alone.


Mason, the Honor Guard commander for Post 1992, was moved by her story and asked her to attend the service and speak about her loss.


“This is a young woman who had to go back to society and get a job and try to move on with her life,” he said. “I didn’t want to ask her to relive a painful memory, but she wanted to. Traditionally at a Veterans Day service, we post colors and have speakers, but to me, this was something different. You never get to hear from the mothers and wives of the fallen.”


The event begins at 11 a.m. at Post 1992, 32201 Amvets Way, Mount Dora, and is open to the public.


Among the other events taking place Monday and throughout the week to honor veterans:


• Veterans Day Tribute at 11 a.m. Monday at Waterfront Park in Clermont. The event is sponsored by the Tomoka Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, the city of Clermont, Sgt. I.W. Hatcher Jr. Marine Corps League and VFW Post 5277. The Marine Corps League will have a box to collect new, unwrapped toys for its Toys for Tots campaign, and the DAR will collect personal items such as toiletries for its Operation Shoebox initiative for deployed service members.


• Florida National Cemetery Veterans Day Ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at the cemetery in Bushnell. The keynote speaker is Chaplain Linda J. Pugsley, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force. The event will also feature patriotic songs by Adaliss Ramirez and Dave Czohara, and Joe Capellini will play taps. There will be a rifle salute by Sumter County Correctional Institute Honor Guard and presentation of colors by Arena Wranglers of the Blue Moon Ranch from Wildwood.


• Eustis Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday at Ferran Park in downtown Eustis. The keynote speaker is U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Bob Haines (ret.). Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8087 will provide the rifle volley salute and the Eustis High Jr. ROTC will conduct an American flag ceremony.


• Veterans Brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at Stormy Hill Harley-Davidson in Clermont. Brunch is being provided by the Sons of the American Legion. For more information, call Stephanie at 352-243-7111.


• Stand Down event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at 101 E. Maud St., Tavares. The event, by Lake County Veterans Services will offer dental care, meals, employment assistance, housing assistance and Social Security Disability assistance.