Vietnam Veterans Honored and Thanked

The Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War was carried out on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 in Spirit Lake. Vietnam Veterans were honored and thanked for their service at a brunch organized by the Ladies of the Lake Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution from Spirit Lake, Iowa The occasion was a part of the on-going effort by the DAR to recognize these "heroes" following the Commemoration Objectives put forth by the Federal government. (See for more information.)

As their guests arrived, they were asked them to sign in. A buffet brunch and coffee was followed by the program.

The program was opened by Color Guards of the American Legion Timpe Post 23: Dennis Perry, Gene Fales, and Clifford Phipps. The entire group then sang the Star-Spangled Banner and was led in prayer by Ladies of the Lake incoming Regent Mary Thunhorst. DAR chairman for the event, Collette Travis, welcomed the group and had all the veterans stand and be recognized with a round of applause. Member Karlene Noteboom followed with the singing of "This Land Is My Land," and the audience joined in for the chorus.

Regent Colleen Lemkuil read President Obama's proclamation recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and Mary Thunhorst presented the Commemoration Objectives.The first and foremost objective of five is: "To thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans."

Collette Travis was privileged to individually thank each veteran on behalf of our nation for their service and for the sacrifices they made and also their family. Each veteran was called by name, presented with a Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin and a certificate, The lapel pin is reserved for all U.S. veterans who served on active duty from 1 November 1955 to 15 May 1975, regardless of location. Each veteran then cited his branch of service and rank, and many spoke of those who did not return home, having given their lives for our country.

Denny Pohlman of Lake Park said, "I served in the Air Force training F-4 pilots to support the infantry in Vietnam. My job in communications maintenance required security clearance for many instructions of importance passed through our hands."

"Today was almost an anniversary for me," commented George Engebretson from Arnolds Park. "On June 3 I got on a bus in Storm Lake and by mid-October I was headed to Vietnam."

The Sioux County Veterans Affairs Commission Chairman Roger Johnson from Hawarden, a Vietnam Veteran himself, said, "Helping veterans in my capacity is an honor, and it has allowed me to attend a number of celebrations comparable to today's which was very well done and appreciated."

Next Dickinson County Veterans Affairs Commission Chairman Ann Miller spoke briefly of her amazement of the atrocities faced by Vietnam Veterans. She spoke of the lessons in tolerance learned by serving with diverse cultures, and the music of the era that reflected the feelings of the people such as "The Green, Green Grass of Home" and the No. 1 hit, "We Gotta Get Out of This Place." This was indeed a challenging period of American history.

Door prizes were given to many by Sharon Kay Wilson Godfrey. Collette recognized the generous brunch donations from area stores and members.

Following the brunch those who wished had the opportunity to tour the Winchester Store Restoration at the home of David and Jane Kruse in Arthur Heights.

Roll of Honor‐Those attending

Darrell Aldrich Army Urbandale
Tom Arends Air Force   Milford
Larry Bloses Air Force Pleasant Hill
Jim Bonsall Air Force Spirit Lake
Ron Baack Air Force Okoboji
John Calsbeck Army Spirit Lake
Tom Crumlett Army Spirit Lake
Merle Dodds Navy Milford
Ron Edmunds Army Arnolds Park
Robert Eilers Marines Milford
George Engebretson Air Force Arnolds Park
Eugene Fales Marines Spirit Lake
Roger Falk Army Spirit Lake
Fred Grein Army Sheldon
Jerry Hagberg Army Spirit Lake
Vern Hammerstrom Army Okoboji
Terry Heidebrink Army Spirit Lake
Donald Hill (d.) Army Spirit Lake
Rodney Heimensen Army Arnolds Park
Roger Heimensen Army Arnolds Park
Roger Johnson Army Hawarden
Wayne Johnson Army Milford
Bill Kersting Army Spencer
Danny Klein (d.) Marines Spirit Lake
Ron Kooima Navy Sheldon
Harlan Kuyper Army Sheldon
Tom Lynn (d.) Army Spirit Lake
Monte Molitor Army Sibley
Lon Noble Army Spirit Lake
Larry Olson Air Force Spirit Lake
Clayton Pavelko Army Lakefield, MN
Denny Perry Army Spirit Lake
Doug Pfeil Navy Armstrong
Eugene Phipps Army Spirit Lake
Gerald Phipps Army Spirit Lake
Dennis Puhrman Air Force Lake Park
Lowell Rogne Marines Twin Hills
Darvin Rusche Army Spirit Lake
Max Sheley Navy Milford
Virgil Solsma Army Arnolds Park
Bob Travis Navy Spirit Lake
Robert Tiedeman Army Sibley
Richard Thurnhorst (d.)   Army Okoboji
Dennis Trei Army Okoboji
Michael Wattier Army Spirit Lake
Ray Wilson Marines Clive
Ken VanWyk Army Milford

Dickinson County Iowa Genealogy - The IAGenWeb Project