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Local vets honored with a pancake breakfast early Saturday Morning

KIFI/Braydon Wilson

AMMON, Idaho (KIFI)- The parking lot in front of the Ammon Broulim's had a different look on Saturday, as the store hosted an emotional ceremony honoring local veterans and those who served their country.

During the opening ceremony, Ammon Mayor Sean Coletti read the names of local heroes who gave all for their nation.

"Army Specialist Michael T Osorio of Horseshoe Bend, Idaho. He died on April 23rd, 2019, while supporting Operation Resolve in Iraq.

"Sergeant Ryan Sharpe of Idaho Falls, who died December 3rd, 2011, while serving in Iraq."

"Specialist Randy Neff junior of Blackfoot, died July 22nd, 2009, while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom."

"Corporal Damon Glen Legrand of Idaho Falls, who, died June 12, 2007, while serving in Iraq."

"Sergeant James Holtom of Rexburg, died February 8th, 2007, while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom."

"Private First Class Jacob H. Allcott of Caldwell. He died on April 22nd, 2006, while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom."

"Lance Corporal Dustin Birch of Saint Anthony. He died June 25 while serving in Iraq."

"Private First Class Jerrick M. Petty of Idaho Falls, who died December 23 while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom."

And many, many more.

Bart Snarr the Store Director of the Ammon location says the the event is in its third year and has deep emotional roots. "I've always had an appreciation for the military and all the law enforcement and supported them 100% like this and this is a way that we can bring them together and celebrate them and what they've done for us. And that's all it's for, it's not anything for me at all. It's just it's it brings me a lot of joy to bring these guys together and to celebrate them."

He adds that the event's all about celebrating the sacrifices, that vets and those who didn't make it home, made. "Come down 17th Street and then you see that little marquee out there, and then there's a little quote out there this week that says, we don't know them all, but we owe them all. And it's just kind of how I feel like this."

For Robert Skinner a retired Navy Captain and commander of Post 56 of the American Legion, the event reminds him what it was he signed up for and those he was with who didn't make it home.

"When you talk about the veterans, they sign a blank check to the United States. Up to and including staff turnover. When you talk about veterans, they sign a blank check to their country payable up to and including their life, and some people gave their lives for this country so we can worship as we please and go places without having to show papers or stuff. Freedom is pretty much a big deal in our country and that's what we're fighting for. And a lot of people say, wow, you're looking at the people that you're fighting. We're looking more at the people behind us that we're protecting."

He says the veteran community around this time of year comes together as one large family to remember those who didn't make home with them. "Veterans think about themselves as a tribe or a tribe of people. We know who we can trust. We know who has our back. We know what we're doing. And we're protecting each other as well as our families."

For Ron Mills the ceremony was emotional especially when the names of the fallen were read. "You remember some of the people that died. There is one name that I'm like, geez, it just really sucks the person that you knew for years. And then after I got out, people who were friends, it just sort of hits you somewhere, you know? And like, while one of the guys died in his second deployment for the Guard and. Yeah. Yeah, that's rough. People that knew you, you know, that died that way."

Ron says he stood up during the reading of our fallen heroes as a show of respect and to honor them.

He says to remember to thank his fellow vets and remember those who don't make it home. He says perhaps the best way to honor their sacrifice in his opinion, is "Every year is different for people. Every person is different. You just try and do a little bit better every day in your life and it's best if you do. You know, you make your mistakes and you try and learn from them."

Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper was also in attendance. She says just listening to vet's stories can be a huge act for them. "I was listening to a couple and their stories go back. I heard about four generations of service from one family spanning World War Two, all the way to the Twin Towers and the war in Iraq. And I think for me, I learned I learn a lot about this kind of medal that people have that brings them to service. And so for me, that's what it means. And I really hope that for those of us who haven't served or haven't been called upon to serve, we listen. We listen to those who have because they have things to share with us that will make us better, better citizens."

She says her son had a chance to interview many different vets and record their stories. She says it changed her son for the better. "My own son for an Eagle Scout project, interviewed veterans from of all ages. And was they able to tell him a young man about the same age as some of them were when they joined. They were able to tell him stories as he was capturing their bios on video that were that made him a better person just for hearing them."

She says in the catalog of American Holidays Memorial Day sometimes might not get its full due. "It is a big deal. So this weekend is I think underrated in the whole library of American holidays. I think we don't give enough credit to the reasons why we celebrate this day. And so I'm grateful for events like this one where it brings people together. There are little cards on the table that were made by school kids and the school kids had to be taught and prepared to be able to even make a card. And I like that. I appreciate that very much."

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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