Memorial foundation receives recognition from senator

Vietnam veterans stand during War Memorial Foundation ceremony on the Fourth of July at the White Pine County Golf Course. (Garrett Estrada photo)

Vietnam veterans stand during War Memorial Foundation ceremony on the Fourth of July at the White Pine County Golf Course. (Garrett Estrada photo)

As the water from the heavy but brief rains subsided and the crowded bar area of the golf course began to clear, everyone’s mind turned to the past. As a poem that was written and read by County Commissioner Richard Howe rang out through the loud speakers placed just outside the course’s club house, the point that was hammered home again and again was remembering the past.

To hear Dave Huckabee, Secretary for the White Pine War Memorial Foundation, say it simply, “Never forget.”

A crowd of veterans of foreign wars, their families and others gathered in seats set up in front of the County Golf Course’s club house on the Fourth of July to remember those that had given the ultimate sacrifice to their country in the wars of the past. Huckabee presented portable versions of the memorials that local high school students had designed as part of the foundations scholarship program to help those in attendance remember.

The name of each White Pine soldier that lost his life during the Vietnam War was read aloud twice during the ceremony. Veterans in attendance stood and held there hats over their hearts, some letting tears roll down their cheeks.

And yet, for all the past that  the Foundation wanted to remember, several members of Nevada Senator Dean heller’s office were on hand to honor a much more recent past, one that began six years ago when Dan Maestes first founded the non-profit organization. Maestes said that as a fellow Vietnam veteran, he knew the struggles that veterans went through and how Americans should always remember the sacrifices those young soldiers made all those years ago.

Glenna Smith, the Military and veterans regional representative for U.S. Senator Dean Heller wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just the fallen veterans that received recognition on the Fourth of July. Smith presented Huckabee and the foundation with a “Certificate of Recognition” from Senator Heller’s office, showing the office’s support for all the work the non-profit has done in its  short years of existence.

“We wanted to recognize the foundation for their work over the last five to six years. They are really a relatively young non-profit and we wanted to acknowledge their hard work in the community and their efforts to bring awareness,” Smith said.

Heller, who was expected to come to the presentation had to miss due to contracting strep throat but Huckabee said that Smith was equally if not more capable due to her office’s ties to the military and veterans.

The ceremony came alongside a veteran’s memorial golf tournament that helped raise money for the War Memorial Foundation and their scholarship program for local high school students.