No one would have guessed that the Veterans honored on Tuesday, March 29th, had served during the time of the most unpopular war in the history of the United States. Smiles, camaraderie, and good will abounded at the special dinner held at the Minidoka Senior Center in Rupert.
The dinner was hosted by the Mini-Cassia Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America on the legally recognized Vietnam Veteran Recognition Day. The President of the Chapter told the assembled group: “It doesn’t matter if you actually served in Vietnam during the war. It is enough that you willingly put on the uniform, were prepared to defend your country, and were willing to go wherever the military chose to send you during the time of the war.”
Approximately, 54 Veterans and their partners attended the dinner. Representatives from US Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch’s offices were present and addressed the group telling them of current legislation the Senators were trying to get through to benefit veterans. They stayed after the event to answer any questions or provide any help they could to individual Veterans.
Idaho State Senator, Kelly Anthon, gave a stirring speech about some of the Vietnam Veterans he knew growing up and the impact they had on his life today. Senator Anthon and his wife personally presented each Veteran with a special coin and a certificate for a free car wash making each Veteran know how appreciated he or she was for their service to their country at such a difficult time.
There was a drawing for several door prizes ranging from Vietnam Veteran pins to other memorabilia of the Vietnam War. The grand prize was a DeWalt drill donated by Ron Lynch, another Vietnam Veteran in attendance.
When the event was over several Veterans stayed to talk and mingle with each other. President Driscoll was correct in saying: “I think we made a lot of Veterans happy today.”