Washington, DC – Idaho Senator Mike Crapo is honoring 14 Idahoans this Veterans Day weekend in ceremonies to held in Boise, Pocatello, Twin Falls and Lewiston. Crapo’s sixth annual Spirit of Freedom Awards will honor both veterans and volunteers who work with veterans. This year’s ceremonies demonstrate the long history of commitment and volunteerism that marks military service in Idaho.
“This year, I am honoring veterans from almost 70 years of American military history—from World War II to Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom,” Crapo said. “These seven Idaho veterans span four generations and share service and campaign medals from all over the world,” Crapo noted. “They bring Idaho honor through the history of their military service, having made a choice to put themselves in situations that called them to face their own death in order to defend the lives and freedoms of others.”
Crapo noted the seven volunteers being honored have also given of themselves and their time; many have also seen active duty. “They regularly make one of the more difficult sacrifices of our civilian lives these days—their time,” Crapo added. “These Idahoans have committed themselves to making the lives of Idaho veterans and their families better and more comfortable.”
2007 Spirit of Freedom Recipients:
• Dan N. Arnold (Pocatello): Served at Normandy in World War II, worked at Idaho National Lab
• Stanley Meholchick (Caldwell): Vietnam veteran, who hosts vets events
• Robert C. Seal (Idaho Falls): Vietnam veteran who served on board many Navy vessels during career
• Lee W. Tackman (Boise): World War II corpsman, 16-year volunteer at the Boise VA Medical Center
• Dennis Wallace (Boise): Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient honored for service in Iraq and Afghanistan
• Gerold Wertz (Twin Falls): World War II veteran, former Twin Falls American Legion Commander
• Alvin C. Wutzke (Lewiston): over 23 years active duty, World War II veteran and retired Army Major
• Louis Bednar (Boise): World War II Prisoner of War, VFW State Hospital Chairman, 7,000 volunteer hours
• Richard Cirell (Boise): Served in the Army, frequent driver for veterans at the VA Medical Center
• Darlene Fullmer (Idaho Falls): Helped organize local Vietnam Veterans of America chapter
• Raymond L. Gault (Pocatello): Korea and Vietnam vet; Idaho Veterans Assistance League Chair
• Dennis Jablonski (Pocatello): Vietnam veteran and local business owner who helps veterans
• Christina Scales (Boise): Began the Veterans Family Support Group
• Lucille Scott (Lewiston): 13 years and 5,529 hours of service to Lewiston-area veterans
In a message directed at the veterans and volunteers being honored, Crapo said, “Without your faithful service, in uniform or as civilians, our nation and the freedom, liberty and human dignity it stands for would soon be lost to pages of history. Thank you for defending me and my family, Idaho and the United States of America, and thank you for caring for those who have done so.”
Dates and times of Crapo’s 2007 Spirit of Freedom Awards are as follows. Due to the Senate schedule, Crapo’s staff will be distributing this year’s awards.
• Pocatello Idaho Veterans Home Saturday, November 10th 2:30 p.m.
• Boise Idaho Veterans Home Sunday, November 11th 11:00 a.m.
• Twin Falls Twin Falls City Park Sunday, November 11th 11:00 a.m.
• Lewiston Idaho Veterans Home Monday, November 12th 10:00 a.m.
Crapo’s website has a section devoted to the Spirit of Freedom awards. For more information and to view past recipients, please visit http://crapo.senate.gov//idaho/sof/sof_home.cfm.
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