Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2017

Record crowd at veterans dinner

May 08, 2017
Photo by: DAVE BARNES Melinda Still, Keosauqua, was in attendance to accept the Vietnam Commemorative pin for her brother, Jimmie Still, Bonaparte, who was killed in action in Vietnam. She was accompanied by her son, Lance Morris, also of Keosauqua.

KEOSAUQUA – The Van Buren Veterans Appreciation Dinner was well attended April 27, with over 200 people joining in the dinner and program.

This was a record crowd for the annual event, which has been hosted by the Van Buren County Veterans Affairs Office for the past seven years. The Tarnished Brass Band furnished musical selections at the beginning of the evening and during the dinner. The Douds Legion Auxilary assisted in serving the dinner.

A special presentation and slide show were given by Roger and Rachel Denly, from Farmington. Speakers for the evening included Bryan Clark and Wendy Fahlgren, representatives from the Iowa City VA Health Care System; Joyce Smithberg and Dana Conklin from the Ottumwa VA Outpatient Clinic; and George Rickey with Eastern Iowa Honor Flight.

A total of 52 Vietnam Era veterans were recognized in a special pinning ceremony, with Dan Gannon, chair of the Iowa Commission of Veteran Affairs in Des Moines, presiding over the presentation. It was an honor for Van Buren County veterans and families to hear that this was the largest pinning ceremony that Gannon has participated in. The ceremony opened with Melinda Still of Keosauqua being presented a pin from Gannon, in memory of her brother, Jimmie Still, who was one of six Van Buren County veterans to lose their life in Vietnam.

Prior to the dinner that evening, tickets had been sold for a gun raffle, with proceeds of over $1,900 donated to the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight.

The winner of the Henry Silver Boy rifle was Tom Marsh of Farmington. Hosts Susan Frey and Kathy Saltzgaver were pleased with the large attendance for the event, and look forward to an even larger attendance in the future. Community support for county veterans was very evident at the event, something the area takes great pride in.

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