November 14, 2016
When I was six years old, my father was sent to Fort Carson, Colo., to serve as the base dentist. We lived there until I was nine and he was discharged from the military.
I still remember his dark green camouflage uniform and his glossy black combat boots. We lost his dress uniform during the flood of 1981, when we were living in central Kansas. But his olive-green uniform is hanging in a garment bag in my basement.
When my 21-year-old son graduated from basic training on Nov. 19, 2015, I took the old uniform with me and met my dad at Fort Jackson, SC. My dad put on the old uniform - he hadn’t outgrown it yet - and we took pictures while reminiscing.
I learned a lot on graduation day.
Turns out my dad was top of his graduating class, though not at Fort Jackson. He trained at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. After graduation, my dad went on to officer’s training and completed two tours in Vietnam, but he never saw combat. He saw plenty, though.
Sadly, simply because of the unfortunate time and place he served, he was shamed upon his return. He said the recognition he and other veterans received at my son’s graduation ceremony was the first time he felt appreciated.
Later in life, my father told me how everyone has a job to do in the service. Not everyone sees combat, but everyone works together to ensure that as many men as possible come home safely.
Contrary to my father’s experience, my grandfather was among the generation who was revered for their service. But when asked, I remember my grandfather telling me he lost every single one of his friends in World War II. It was such an impactful conversation I still recall where we were standing and how emotional he was at that moment.
These were two very different perspectives on service and the men who serve. But both impressed on me a profound belief that no matter the reason a man – or woman these days – serves his country, he gave something we can never imagine. For that, a little appreciation is in order.
The following is a list of the men and women who attended the Cottonwood Veteran’s Day celebration. These men and women are mostly graduates of Prairie High School and I have listed their year of graduation. I have also included a few names of service members I know of who could not attend.
This is not intended to be a concise list of all the veterans from the Camas Prairie. If I have missed you, please know you have my deepest appreciation and warmest thanks.
Clifford Bruegeman, Army, PHS 1963 Aaron Alexander, Army, PHS 1974 Thomas L. Nuttman, Army, PHS 1962 Jack Uptmor, Army, PHS 1967 Wayne Forsman, Army, PHS 1965 Joe Kuther, Army, PHS 1965 Doug Clark, Army, PHS 1966 Don Mungers, Navy, PHS 1965 Kevin Brown, Coast Guard Ralph Stubbers, Army, PHS 1965 Ronald Sonnen, Army, PHS 1950 John Remacle, Army, PHS 1962 Bob Daly, Navy, PHS 1967 Owen Roberts, Coast Guard, PHS 1958 Joe Riener, Air Force, PHS 1984 Don Decaria, Navy, PHS 1968 Roger Burgess, Navy and Army, PHS 1961 Terry Cochran, Marine Corp. and Army, PHS 1984 Richard Currin, Army, PHS 1962 E. J. Akins, Navy, PHS 1957 Jim Gerhing, Navy, PHS 1945 Mark Tacke, Navy and Army, PHS 1945 Larry Arnzen, Army, PHS 1962 Ray Arnzen, Army, PHS 1963 Norman Meyers, Army, PHS 1969 Dave Gerhing, Army, PHS 1956 Ted Arnzen, Army, PHS 1967 Buddy Hood, Navy, PHS 1957 Bob Ross, Army, PHS 1959 Milton Barlocher, Army, PHS 1960 Mick Forsman, Army, PHS 1963 Max Nuxoll, Army, PHS 1966 Sam Nuxoll, Army, PHS 2001 Ryan Mader, Marines, PHS 1999 Jim Luety, Army, PHS 1970 Jay Nuxoll, Army, PHS 1953 Andrew Uhlorn, Army, PHS 1970 Dick Remacle, Army Larry Remacle, Army Henry Remacle, Army Ken Remacle, Army Phil Remacle, Army Bill Remacle, Navy Fred Seubert, Army Ray Nuxoll, Army Felix Nuxoll, Army
Thank you for your service, no matter the branch or location you served. Whether you served stateside or overseas, and whether it was in time of conflict or not, your service is valued.
If you know someone from Idaho County who served our country and received an honorable discharge, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.