“I didn’t sacrifice a lot,” said Dr. Matthew Andres at the conclusion of his presentation at the sixth annual Farm Bureau Salute to Idaho Veterans, “but there were those who sacrificed everything.” Dr. Andres was referring to the soldiers he served with in Afghanistan who were killed in action during his two tours of duty as a Battalion Surgeon with the U.S. Marine Corps. “And that’s why days like today are important,” he added as he wiped away tears. “It’s important that we remember and honor those who have served our country.”
Dr. Andres was the guest speaker at the sixth annual Farm Bureau Salute to Idaho Veterans, an event created with the assistance of the Pocatello Veterans Honor Guard and the Pocatello Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee to honor Idaho veterans. The day was picture-perfect, with just enough of a breeze during the flag ceremony to gently unfurl the Stars and Stripes. The flag ceremony, conducted by the Pocatello Veterans Honor Guard, included an invocation by veteran Monte Hibbert, a rendition of Taps by Trevor Lewis, and a performance of the National Anthem by Dr. Robert Lee. An additional 100 American flags were also posted around the Farm Bureau home office courtesy of Josiah Dahlstrom of the Pocatello Veterans Home.
The Salute also featured a Posting of the Colors and a performance of the Tribute to the Armed Forces medley during which attending veterans stood at attention for the duration of their branch’s song. The medley was performed by the Idaho Falls Brass Quintet whose members included Trevor Lewis, Kamber Turner, Bill Phoenix, William Smith, and Roger Lewis.
Winners of the sixth annual Farm Bureau “Veterans Day Essay Contest” presented portions of their essays describing “What My Family Members Military Service Means To Me.” The winners were Olivia Wilson, a fifth-grader from Burley, and Ella Van Leuven, an eighth-grader from Meridian.
The Salute concluded with a luncheon accompanied by a slide show of photos of Idaho veterans taken during active duty.
The Salute to Idaho Veterans is held each year on the Friday before Veterans Day at the Farm Bureau home office in Pocatello. If you would like more information about the Salute or the essay contest, please contact Peggy Sorensen at (208) 239-4201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.