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Crapo Announces His 2008 Spirit Of Freedom Awards

Veterans and volunteers honored in ceremonies across Idaho

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo announced the recipients of his annual Spirit of Freedom Awards honoring Idaho veterans and volunteers. The Spirit of Freedom Awards are presented annually during Veterans Day ceremonies around Idaho. 2008 marks the 6th year of the Awards, which pay tribute to exceptional veterans and to outstanding volunteers who give their time and resources to veterans and veterans organizations in Idaho. "Every year, it is an honor for me to present the Spirit of Freedom Award to veterans and volunteers," said Crapo. "These men and women carry the true spirit of freedom, service and patriotism in their hearts and have lived it out in their lives. I thank them for their service to the United States of America."

This year, the ceremonies are taking place in Pocatello, Boise, Lewiston and Post Falls. The veterans and volunteers being honored today and tomorrow include:


• Veteran Cedric DeCory, an Air Force Desert Storm veteran who is actively involved promoting Native American veterans' issues;
• Veteran John (Jack) J. Higgins, a Navy Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient;
• Volunteer Fran King, active with the Idaho State Veterans home, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Idaho Military History Museum;
• Volunteer Linda Mims, an Army veteran active in the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service, and the Idaho State Veterans Home;
• Volunteer H. Norris Lynch (posthumously), a Navy World War II veteran active with the Sons of the American Revolution, Boise Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service, Fleet Reserve Association and the American Legion;
• Veteran Vernon Perkins, a Navy World War II veteran who went on to serve in the Navy Reserves and remains active with the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery;
• Veteran Tom Ressler, a 31-year Air Force veteran who served in the Vietnam War and has remained active as a volunteer helping veterans;
• Volunteer Chester Kenneth Smith, Jr., a Navy World War II veteran active with the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery;
• Veteran Jeffrey Sugai, an Air Force Vietnam veteran who served between 1964 and 2003.


• Volunteer Juanita Kudronowicz, active with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Women of the Moose and Retired Senior Volunteer Program;
• Veteran Max L. Stewart, an Army World War II veteran.


• Volunteer Delbert A. Norman, a Navy World War II veteran active for many years with the Idaho State Veterans Home and Blackfoot VFW, Elks and American Legion;
• Veteran L. Leath Robbins, an Army Air Force bomber pilot in World War II and active with the Rotary Club;
• Volunteer LaDonna Taylor, active with the Auxiliary of the Vietnam Veterans of America and VFW;
• Veteran Robert B. Taylor, a Marine Vietnam War veteran active with the Vietnam Veterans of America.

Post Falls

• Veteran John B. Dunlap, a 30-year Navy veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars and active with the American Legion and Post Falls Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about current or past recipients of Crapo's Spirit of Freedom Awards, please visit