Three-War Dan: Pocatello vet addresses Farm Bureau crowd

Courtesy Idaho State Journal, Nov 8 2014, By Michael H. O’Donnell
POCATELLO — At Friday’s fourth annual Farm Bureau Salute to Idaho Veterans event, Pocatello veteran Daniel Scarborough wore a cap few people can — a “Three Wars Veteran” cap.

Scarborough, 91, served in the U.S. Marines during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He was guest speaker at this year’s event. A resident of the Idaho State Veterans Home, Scarborough received an “Outstanding Resident Award” from Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo in August. Pocatello-area veterans and current members of the armed services and their families packed the Farm Bureau headquarters at 275 Tierra Vista Drive Friday morning for a traditional flag ceremony performed by the Pocatello Veterans Honor Guard and recognition of veterans with a brass quintet playing military branch hymns.

 Daniel '3 War Dan' Scarborough. Photo by Jenny Losee

Daniel Scarborough salutes at the Farm Bureau veterans event. -Photo by Jenny Losee

Veterans were also treated to a luncheon, slide show, free photo portraits and a complimentary gift.

It was Scarborough’s story that cemented the courage and determination of those who serve this country.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, Scarborough was only 18, but he wanted to sign up for military service. His parents wouldn’t let their teenage son go off to war, so Scarborough waited impatiently and joined the U.S. Marines in January of 1942. He had made pact with two high school buddies, Kenneth and William, that they would all join the Marines.

All three ended up in the South Pacific.

William was killed on Iwo Jima, and Kenneth remains listed as missing in action at Guadalcanal. Scarborough ended up fighting bloody battles on Okinawa where he received his first Purple Heart. When the war with Japan ended, Scarborough ended up in Pocatello where he met and married his wife. But his days as a fighting Marine were far from over. When war with North Korea broke out, Scarborough re-enlisted and spent two years fighting North Koreans and Chinese soldiers.

As if that wasn’t enough service to his country, Scarborough volunteered to go to Vietnam when war broke out in that country. He received his second Purple Heart for a wound he received in battle there.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to show appreciation for our military personnel who have selflessly sacrificed for our freedom,” Farm Bureau Chief Executive Officer Paul Roberts said. “Supporting the military community is very important to the Farm Bureau family.”

Each year for the past four, the Farm Bureau has sponsored a Veterans Day essay contest for students in Eastern Idaho. The winners this year were Sawyer Disselkoen, a Pocatello winner for 10th to 12th grade; Lila Jolley, seventh to ninth grade winner from Victor; and Madison Cardoza, the first- to sixth grade winner from Pocatello.

Cardoza wrote an essay thanking her uncle for his service in the U.S. Air Force.

Farm Bureau Salutes Idaho's Veterans

-Photo by Jenny Losee

“My uncle’s military service is a big part in my life because he is helping serve the world and training hard every day,” Cardoza wrote. “It means a lot to me that he’s working so hard every day and is learning every day. Just like when I’m at school. He does not learn multiplication and handwriting. He learns how to shoot big guns and how to fly jets.”

Jolley wrote about her cousin, Merlon Beard, who served in World War II.

“He got captured and became a prisoner of war while trying to save another soldier,” Jolley wrote. “Upon his return, he would go to my grandmother’s house and tell her and her family that the only thing that kept him going in the German prison camp was my great-grandmother playing ‘There is a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere’ on the piano.”

Jolley finished her essay by writing, “My cousin Merlon Beard is part of the essence of America. He is part of what makes our country great.” Disselkoen wrote about how quickly we forget about those who serve in the military.

Farm Bureau Salutes Idaho's Veterans

-Photo by Jenny Losee

“I have had a number of family members who have served in various branches of the military,” he wrote. “Most of them were lucky and were able to come home. We may ask them to tell stories and ask hem to celebrate with us. But how long does it take before we forget?”

To close his essay, the high school senior wrote: “We need to inspire ourselves to take action and never forget what they’ve given. There are ways, and everyone can help. Don’t let their sacrifice be in vain — remember.”