T HE U TAH V E TE R ANS V O I C E

Volume 20: Issue 1 — Winter 2013

UTAH’S VETERANS TRACKING SYSTEM (VTS) PASSES FIRST MAJOR TEST
by Larry Dawson
In a past issue we reported on the long-standing dream of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs to have a database that would let the Department know how many Veterans are in the State and where they are located. For the past 18 months that the database has been in development it has accomplished not only do the two things listed above, but has some real world applications to assist Veterans in their efforts to find out about and apply for VA and State Benefits. On 12 December 2012 a ―test‖ of the VTS and how it can assist Veterans was applied. The background of the test was that it notified Veterans about a Veterans Benefit Briefing at the Golden Hours Senior Center in downtown Ogden, Utah. The information presented was based on benefits that would be directed more toward Veterans in the age group of those who served before the Gulf War conflicts. These included such items as Aid and Attendance, enrollment into the VA Medical System, Home and Vehicle Modifications, Nursing Homes, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), and Death Benefits.

The two main briefers were Chris Scott of the Veterans Benefits Administration and Larry Dawson of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs. A small sample of Zip Codes was selected in those areas that are part of the Ogden area. The number of Veterans in the target group in the VTS surprised the VTS administrators in that they exceeded 6,000 names and addresses. A postcard had been sent to each Veteran with a ―Return Service Requested‖ (address correction) item. In all, more than 4,900 postcards were delivered, and approximately 1100 cards were returned. Most of these returns had updated addresses. The positive side of these returns demonstrated that the VTS could be easily updated. This strengthens the veracity of the VTS by improving the accuracy of the contact information. Attendance for the event exceeded the capacity of the venue. More than 240 Veterans came to hear the briefings and receive forms and assistance in making claims. Part of the registration process asked attendees how they found out about the meeting. Ninety percent + noted the postcard as reason for attending. Another item of success was found in calls to the office of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs (UDVA) that were received in succeeding days after the event. Phone logs note more than 350 calls by Veterans who could not attend the briefing. The postcard indicated that if you couldn’t attend, ―call the UDVA for information presented at the event.‖ Briefing packets were then sent to requesters. Other events like the one held in Ogden are being planned in the future throughout the State. The success of the VTS program in contacting Veterans in specific areas will enable the UDVA to be more proactive and productive in its mission of supporting Veterans in their ongoing quest to understand and acquire those benefits to which they are entitled. That is the core mission of the UDVA and its workers.

PARTICIPANTS AT THE VETERANS BENEFIT BRIEFING IN OGDEN

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News ■ Updates ■ Feature Stories Lawrence Okendo and CSM Basil Plumley. I never knew Plumley, but back in 1967, when your editor was crawling through the jungles of Vietnam, I had the good fortune to have Sgt. Okendo as my platoon sergeant. He was the epitome of a warrior, and we unhesitatingly followed him to the proverbial Gates of Hell. But CSM Basil Plumley and MSG Lawrence Okendo shared something that only a handful of men can claim -- they fought in three wars and thereby earned the Triple CIB. Sadly, CSM Plumley passed away in October. We pay tribute to him on page 14. Speaking of warriors, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is lifting the military's long-standing ban on women serving in combat. By doing so, front-line positions and possibly special operations jobs will be open to women. That does not mean they have previously been immune from danger or from combat. (The latest figure at this writing is 152 have been killed in the GWOT.) This decision, however, could open some 200,000 + jobs, many in Army and Marine infantry units, to women. In recent years, the necessities of war placed women into jobs as medics, military police, and intelligence officers that were sometimes attached to units on the front lines.

The Utah Veterans Voice And, since women now comprise 14% of active-duty military personnel, some re-thinking had to take place. Thus, in a memorandum entitled “Women in the Service Implementation Plan,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated: “The time has come to rescind the direct combat exclusion rule for women and to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers to service.” What say you?

From the Editor’s Desk . . .
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “warrior?” In truth, it is a much bandied-about word in the culture presently due to the conflicts in which we are engaged. Merriam-Webster defines it simply as “: a man engaged or experienced in warfare.” (Odd that this dictionary would use man rather than person considering the unprecedented number of women who currently serve in the GWOT.) Well, when I think of the word two men come to mind: MSG

Volunteers Needed
Drivers ♦ Honor Guards VA Medical Center Ft. Douglas Museum Special Events ♦ Workshops Call 1-800-894-9497

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THE UTAH DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
550 FOOTHILL BOULEVARD SUITE 202 SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 84113
http://veterans.utah.gov/ Terry Schow Executive Director Dennis McFall Deputy Director Robert Welsh Editor-in-Chief

Important Phone Numbers
Utah Department. of Veterans Affairs (801) 326-2372 1-800-894-9497 VA Regional Office 1-800-827-1000 VA Medical Center (801) 582-1565 1-800-613-4012 Veterans Cemetery (801) 254-9036 Transition Assistance
Contact Robert Welsh at rwelsh@utah.gov or call 801.326.2372 about advertising.

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VETERANS UPWARD BOUND
A GREAT RESOURCE FOR VETERANS
On 1 September 2012 Veterans Upward Bound was refunded for a new five-year cycle to serve Veterans along the Wasatch Front in Utah who wish to go to school beyond high school. This program, one of just 51 currently funded in the country, and the only program of its kind in Utah, helps Veterans by providing classes and tutoring that help them become academically ready to attend school. In addition to academics, the programs also helps Veterans apply for school at any institution they wish to attend, find financial aid resources (both VA and civilian), consider appropriate majors to study, how to develop their skills to study, and much more. And, the best news is that this is all FREE. To participate, Veterans must have better than a dishonorable discharge documented by a DD 214 or other paperwork, and must not have a Baccalaureate degree already. In addition, Veterans enrolled in higher education are not eligible unless they are taking developmental or remedial classes at school. Veterans who are interested in taking part in this free and valuable program should contact Veterans Upward Bound at (801) 626-7173, or via the program’s website at www.weber.edu/vetsupwardbound. If you have never felt your skills were up to par to attend school after high school, or if you need to dust off some academic rust from being out of education for several years, this program can help you a lot.

WHO READS THE UTAH VETERANS VOICE . . .?

JAMES ANDREWS, A VETERAN AND ACTOR FROM THE ST. GEORGE AREA. STARS IN THE DON'T WASTE UTAH TV COMMERCIALS AND IN THE SHORT FILM BACKFIRE (2000), WHICH WAS SHOWN AT THE ECLIPSE FILM FESTIVAL. ANDREWS ALSO HAD ROLES IN "CHRISTMAS MISSION" AND THE MOVIE POOL DAYS (1993).

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The Department of Veterans Affairs has partnered with the internet-based genealogy research firm Ancestry.com to bring burial records from historic national cemetery ledgers into the digital age. The effort will make the collection — predominantly of Civil War interments — accessible to researchers and Ancestry subscribers undertaking historical and genealogical research. ―We are excited to be able to share this wealth of primary documentation,‖ said VA’s Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs Steve L. Muro. ―With the help of Ancestry.com, we have opened the doors to thousands of service members’ histories through the information contained in these burial ledgers.‖ From the 1860s until the mid-20th century, U.S. Army personnel tracked national cemetery burials in hand-written burial ledgers or ―registers.‖ Due to concern for the fragile documents and a desire to expand public access to the ledger contents, VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA) duplicated about 60 hand-written ledgers representing 36 cemeteries using a high-resolution scanning process. The effort resulted in high quality digital files that reproduced approximately 9,344 pages and 113,097 individual records. NCA then transferred the original ledgers to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) where they will be preserved. In addition to the NCA’s ledgers, NARA was already the steward of at least 156 military cemetery ledgers transferred from the Army years ago. In 2011, NCA initiated a partnership with Ancestry.com to index its cemetery ledgers, allowing the data to be searched or browsed in a variety of ways. Ancestry.com spent more than 600 hours indexing NCA’s records at no charge to the government.

Ancestry.com has assembled the digitized and indexed NCA burial ledgers with those at NARA into a new collection, ―U.S. Burial Registers, Military Posts and National Cemeteries, 1862-1960.‖ The burial records contain information such as name, rank, company/regiment, date of death, age at death, date of burial and grave number. A large number of Civil War soldiers were buried where they fell in battle or in temporary cemeteries, and sometimes that information can be found in the ledgers. The collection was posted on the Ancestry.com website on Veterans Day 2012. The information can be accessed free of charge by VA personnel as well as by employees of the other federal agencies that maintain national cemeteries, the Departments of the Interior and Defense. Ledger data will also be available for free at all NARA facilities, and at public libraries that subscribe to Ancestry.com. NCA cemetery staff will use the database to answer requests from the public. The general public will have access to the database on their personal devices through Ancestry.com’s regular subscription service. This partnership between Ancestry.com and NCA supports NCA’s ongoing Civil War 150th anniversary commemoration (2011-2015). For more information on this project, contact Sara Amy Leach (sara.leach@va.gov), NCA senior historian. VA operates 131 national cemeteries in 39 states and Puerto Rico and 33 soldiers’ lots and monument sites. Seventy two of VA’s national cemeteries date from the Civil War. More than 3.7 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict — from the Revolutionary War to the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan — are buried in VA’s national cemeteries on approximately 20,000 acres of land.

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Forthcoming Veterans Events
Utah Department of Veterans Affairs 550 Foothill Boulevard, Suite 202 Salt Lake City, Utah 84113
801-326-2372 │ 1-800-894-9497

FEBRUARY 16 February Veterans Fund Raiser ―Music from the Heart,‖ Spanish Fork Arena Ponderosa Building, 1100—1700 hrs., POC: rpagnani@hotmail.com MARCH 13 March APRIL 10 April Salt Lake City Library, 210 East 400 South, Veterans Administration VA Benefits Presentation, POC: christopher.scott3@va.gov Golden Hours Senior Center, Ogden, VA Benefits Presentation 650 25th St., Ogden, POC: christopher.scott3@va.gov MIA/POW Banquet, Hilton Hotel, Salt Lake City, UT (by invitation only) Governor’s Military and Family Summit and Job Fair, Salt Palace Convention Center, 0800 hrs., Salt Lake City, POC: ayardley@utah.gov Central Utah Veterans Home Golf Tournament, Gladstan Golf Course, Payson, POC: glenbradford@msn.com or gary_sch@msn.com

12 April 17 April

20 April

24 April

Korean War 60th Commemoration Event,
Memory Grove, Salt Lake City, 1300 – 1400 hrs., All Korean War Veterans invited, POC: jimbeddingfield@utah.gov

money for Wounded Warriors Fund of Utah. Student body officers Alex Arave and Austin Goff, along with members of Clearfield JROTC, orchestrated a week of events that were dedicated to raising the money. Dances, Art Auctions, Penny Wars, and Jail and Bail were some of the events designed to generate money. One of the best producers was the ―Miracle Minute‖ at the basketball games and Band and Choir concerts. Student body officers went around the audience with buckets and encouraged spectators to donate. When people found out what it was for they would empty all the change out of their pockets. The miracle minute alone during the assembly generated $2,000. The assembly also generated $4,000 as athletic teams pooled money to buy pies to throw at their coaches. Teachers bought pies to hit each other with, and some teachers bought them for the right to not get hit with pies. At the end of the assembly, Alex, Austin, and their advisor, Mrs. LeNina Wimmer, presented the Marine Corps League with a check for $12,000 to the Wounded Warrior Fund for Utah.

MAY 30 May

10th Annual Veterans Memorial Golf Tournament, Hubbard Golf Course, HAFB, Utah, POC: tcknight@utah.gov Additional information and dates when they become available will be posted under events on the Utah Department of Veteran Affairs website: http://www.veterans.utah.gov/

THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY IS IN GOOD HANDS
by Mike Duncan
The rumble of Harley Davidson motorcycles was nearly muted by the screams and shouts of high school students as members of various Marine units rode their motorcycles onto the auditorium stage at Clearfield High School on 21 December 2012. This kicked off the assembly that ended a weeklong fund raising drive dedicated at raising

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IVINS AND PAYSON VETERANS HOMES SCHEDULED TO OPEN IN MAY 2013
by Dennis McFall, Deputy Director and Project Director
Work is progressing on schedule at both the Ivins and Payson sites for two new veterans nursing homes. Weather has caused minor delays in Payson but a late spring opening is not in jeopardy. Outside walls and roofs are nearly complete in both locations so work will now be mostly inside and unaffected by the outside weather, particularly in Payson. Both facilities are constructed on 10-acre sites donated respectively by the City of Ivins and the City of Payson through an exchange agreement with the real estate arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) Church. Each facility will serve a wide geographic area in both southern and central Utah. It is important to realize these facilities are for Veterans throughout the state, but are geographically placed to accommodate Veterans in the southern and the central sections of Utah. The facility is not just for residents of Ivins, or residents of Payson, but for all Veterans. Similarly, we have facilities in Ogden and in Salt Lake, but we have residents therein from all across the state. Now, residents of Cedar City, Kanab, Moab, Green River, Price, Richfield, Fillmore, the Uintah Basin, and many rural areas will have additional choices as to where they can receive high quality health care closer to home and avoiding the need to access care in Salt Lake City or Ogden. Once these two projects are completed, the State of Utah will have reached its maximum allowable VA certified beds as authorized under the federal VA formula. This formula is based on the number of Veterans that reside in each state, and for Utah this results in a maximum of 417 beds. Eligible Veterans who reside therein may have from 50% to as much as 100% of the cost of care paid by the VA. Both facilities will be Medicare certified, and each will have a few beds certified for Medicaid recipients. Each Veteran admitted will have the opportunity to review all potential financial resources available for the payment of any balance not paid by the VA. A waiting list is being compiled for those who anticipate the need for long-term care services for themselves, a family member, or others who might need such care. If you know a Veteran who might need skilled nursing care please contact the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs at 801-326-2372, or send information to tcknight@utah.gov. You will be contacted by an admissions person in April 2013 to arrange for documentation and to assist you with related paperwork. Each of the two facilities is being constructed under the latest VA architectural guidelines. There will be nine 12-bed housing units for a total of 108 private rooms each with its own bath, and each housing unit will contain dining areas, barbeque patios, gardens, and other

homelike areas for gathering and visiting. While both Ivins and Payson are similar on the inside, they will look quite different from the outside. Each is constructed to blend into the community and reflect the unique architecture of the surroundings. Each location will provide approximately 150 full-time jobs in the community with an annual payroll in excess of $3.5 million. Expenditures for food and food supplies, operating supplies, small equipment, etc., will approach $4 million annually. Similar to the Ogden and Salt Lake facilities, it is expected that each location will serve as a gathering place for Veterans events, service organization meetings, and community functions that are related to patriotism and recognition of the great contribution and sacrifice our Veterans have made for the state and the country. These facilities will be available for such meetings at no cost or very minimal cost to these entities. The facilities are being constructed with funds comprised of 35% state and 65% federal dollars. In addition, citizens, businesses, and Veterans in both locations have contributed funds for special amenities and upgrades to furnishings and interiors. Additional contributions are expected and are welcome in both locations. An individual or company contributing at least $100 dollars will have his/her name permanently engraved on a large wall plaque. Those who can sponsor a room with a contribution of $4000 will be recognized with an individual, permanent recognition plaque on the wall outside the room, with limited inscription as desired by the contributor. Many have seen this as a unique opportunity to honor a family member or friend who served in the armed forces and to dedicate a room in honor of that individual for the benefit of the Veterans who will reside therein. For additional information regarding contributions please see the contact information below. Title to each of the homes will rest with the State of Utah. The federal VA payment for the cost of care is only available to the Veteran if he or she is residing in a state-owned facility, and both Payson and Ivins qualify. Spouses of Veterans and certain others also qualify to receive care in the home, but the VA does not cover the cost of their care. Several inspections and reviews must be successfully completed prior to receiving any payment from the federal VA; however, once formal ―recognition‖ is attained, the VA dollars will cover nearly $4 million dollars in health care annually in each location. The State of Utah will not operate either facility. The only state employee will be one State Officer on site, full time, as required by federal VA regulations. It is currently planned to have a Veterans Benefit Specialist or Service Officer housed in each facility for the express purpose of assisting Veterans and family members in navigating the maze of federal regulations and paperwork that accompany Pension and Medical eligibility benefits and registration with the VA for these and related services. Actual operation of the facility will be contracted to an existing long-term care provider
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Central Utah Veterans Home — Payson

EXTERIOR CANOPY, BUILDING D, LOOKING SOUTHWEST

MAIN ENTRY, BUILDING A, LOOKING WEST Under IRS guidelines, your contribution is tax deductible to the extent it exceeds the Fair Market Value of goods or services received. We have determined this amount to be $60 per participant based upon a contribution of $100. You may only claim the amount that exceeds the value of goods or services provided.
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Southern Utah Veterans Home — Ivins

organization (yet to be determined). A Request for Proposals (RFP) covering all aspects of operations was published in November, and a selection committee has been named to review and evaluate the responses to the RFP. If you are interested in employment, we are accepting resumes and will provide these to the management company once named. They will be responsible for all hiring except for the state positions mentioned earlier. If you have any questions about any aspect of the building or the care that will be provided, or if you are interested in employment, volunteer service, or learning more about contributing to the facilities in any manner, please contact the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs at: Utah Department of Veterans Affairs 550 Foothill Dr. #202 Salt Lake City, Utah 84113 (801) 326-2372 │ (800) 894-9497
CORRIDOR BETWEEN BUILDING C AND D, PAINT READY ALUMINUM STOREFRONT, ADMINISTRATION BUILDING

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Under IRS guidelines, your contribution is tax deductible to the extent it exceeds the Fair Market Value of goods or services received. We have determined this amount to be $60 per participant based upon a contribution of $100. You may only claim the amount that exceeds the value of goods or services provided.

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BUDWEISER CLYDESDALES AT THE GEORGE E. WAHLEN OGDEN VETERANS HOME
by Kim Wixon, State Officer
On 7 December 2012 the famous Budweiser Clydesdale Team came to the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home to entertain the veterans. The idea for this visit came from the local Budweiser distributing company, Wasatch Distributing. Randy Peterson and Rich Peterson came to the Home and offered the team to come while they were in Utah. We of course accepted without hesitation. The full team, drivers and even the Dalmatian mascot dog were there. A big thank you to Wasatch Distributing, Rich and Kathy Peterson, the owners, and Randy Peterson.

BUDWEISER CLYDESDALES IN FRONT OF VETERANS TRIBUTE TOWER

THANK YOU FROM THE UTAH STATE VETERANS NURSING HOME
by Jeff Hanson, State Officer
The Utah State Veterans Nursing Home would like to thank all who visited and shared their time, talents, and resources during this holiday season. Veteran’s organizations, businesses, family groups, and many individuals went out of their way to make the season special for our residents. We are grateful for the support the community provides. We try hard to keep our event calendar full throughout the entire year. If you would like to share your time, talents, or resources with our veteran residents, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Nai Dien, by email at naikovd@gmail.com or by phone at 801 584-1920.

REPRESENTATIVES FROM EHEALTH, INC. DONATE A NEW IPAD AND WII TO THE VETERANS FOR CHRISTMAS.

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News ■ Updates ■ Feature Stories chamber) suitable for each bird, and advice on avian medical needs. The mew will be wheelchair accessible if needed. HH4H is a Utah 501(c)(3) nonprofit that will provide the psycho-social component in weekend workshop format and online community programming to help rebuild reintegration skills and other challenges Veterans face returning home. HH4H offers no-cost and stigma-free, mission-driven, and integrated combat trauma recovery services to returning soldiers and their loved ones challenged by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other reintegration issues. By using integrated modalities such as positive psychology coaching, mindfulness, and yoga/hiking, they help Veterans readjust to life in the ―new normal,‖ while adapting their warrior skills to civilian life through training and self-mastery. The result is a greater overall sense of wellbeing. If you are interested in trying this, please email us at: greatbasinrehab@yahoo.com and tell us a little about yourself!

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WINGS OF VALOR
by Patti Richards, Executive. Director, Great Basin Wildlife Rescue, with Robert Welsh and Larry Dawson, Utah Department of Veterans Affairs
The Great Basin Wildlife Rescue — in partnership with the Utah Falconers Association and Harvesting Happiness for Heroes (HH4H) — is pleased to support a fabulous project called ―Wings of Valor‖ in 2013. This new project will provide disabled Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan the opportunity to experience the art of Falconry. There is no cost to the Veterans. Falconry is an art. It requires long hours, constant devotion, finesse, subtlety, and skill. The falconer must train a bird of prey to fly free, hunt for a human, and then accept a return to captivity. And, Falconry is not a hobby; it is a lifestyle of sorts, for Falconers must devote time to their birds each and every day, 365 days a year. It’s not for everyone, and it may not be a suitable pastime for children. Falconry was introduced to European royalty in the 5th Century A.D., but, it was Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (1194–1250) who is generally considered the first and most significant practitioner of traditional falconry in the West. He penned the falconry treatise De arte venandi cum avibus, (The Art of Hunting with Birds), generally accepted as the first comprehensive treatment of the practice of falconry. What the program will do is help the Veteran feel a closeness to nature he or she probably has never experienced, as well as a bond with a bird of prey. Each Veteran will partner with a general or master-class falconer and work closely with the Utah Falconers Association. Veterans will need to pass a falconry test to determine their suitability for the program. Great Basin Wildlife will provide each Veteran a mew (housing

NATIONAL VETERANS AWARENESS RIDE
The primary event for the National Veterans Awareness Organization (NVAO) each year is a 10-day motorcycle journey across the United States. Each day of travel involves stops at Veteran hospitals and homes to visit, spend time with, and thank the Veterans for their service and sacrifice. A typical day includes a stop at a memorial or cemetery for a time of remembrance or a visit to a school to teach the next generation about the price of freedom. This year, the 2013 National Veterans Awareness Ride will arrive on Thursday 16 May at the Utah State Veterans Nursing Home at 1430 hrs., and will depart at 1600 hrs. The riders always look forward to their visit with the Veterans at the Home. This year they plan to have the same number of motorcycles as last year — around 40 motorcycles and two or three four wheeled vehicles. They will present NVAR Certificates of Appreciation to selected individuals for the good work that they do.

DYLAN HOPKINS WORKS WITH HIS BIRD Editor’s Note: Dylan was a friend of mine who died, tragically, at the age of 25 in a small plane crash in 2008. He was an EMT and Firefighter — as well as a certified falconer and a fine young man. I know Dylan would support this program.

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News ■ Updates ■ Feature Stories accommodate the ashes of both the Veteran and the spouse. To complete the enhancements, the area surrounding the columbarium is beautifully landscaped with flowering trees and shrubs. The other new burial option for Veterans and families is a secluded Memorial Garden. The fully landscaped Memorial Garden is provided for families who prefer to scatter the cremation ashes of their loved one in a private setting. It is located near the main cemetery flag pole and across the street from the columbarium.

Editorial Comments 13 Speakers at the event were Dennis Howland, of the Utah Veterans of Foreign Wars, who coordinated the event, Terry Schow, Executive Director, Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, and Governor Gary Herbert. All asked that people remember to ―thank‖ a Veteran for his or her service whenever they could. Gov. Herbert admonished attendees to create an environment were ―In Utah, Veterans are remembered every day.‖

COLUMBARIUM AND SCATTERING GARDEN OPEN FOR BURIALS
Veteran Families Have Two New Options at Veterans Cemetery
by Craig Morgan
Mr. Terry Schow, Director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, recently announced that Veterans and their eligible dependents can now be interred in two new areas at the Utah Veterans Cemetery and Memorial Park in Bluffdale, Utah. ―We are happy to announce the longawaited columbarium and Memorial Garden at the Veterans Cemetery are now completed

GOVERNOR HERBERT SPEAKS AT THE WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA CEREMONY ALTERNATIVE “SCATTER GARDEN”

Veterans and families who choose to use either the Columbarium or the Memorial Garden must meet the same requirements as in other areas of the cemetery.
NEW COLUMBARIUM AT THE UTAH VETERANS CEMETERY AND MEMORIAL PARK

―Wreaths across America‖ is twodecades-old program that began when a private company — Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, — began a tradition of placing wreaths on the headstones of Service men and women at Arlington National Cemetery. The mission of ―Wreaths across America‖ is not just placing wreaths. It is about remembering, honoring, and most of all teaching people about the sacrifices made on behalf of this country by its Veterans. The wreath at this year’s ceremony was dedicated by Norm Nelson, State Chaplain of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, in a prayer asking for God to watch over those who are serving, have served, and the family members who support them. The wreath was then placed at the Vietnam Memorial where it remained until the end of the year.
THE WREATH IS PLACED AT THE VIETNAM MEMORIAL AT THE CAPITOL

and available for use,‖ said Terry Schow, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs. ―Veterans and families who prefer cremation now have the option to place the ashes of their loved one in a beautiful, above-ground columbarium or in our new private Memorial Garden reserved for ashes,‖ said Schow. Visitors to the cemetery will have no difficulty finding these new features. The four section columbarium is constructed of beautiful light and dark granite and located directly across from the large cemetery flag pole on the main entrance road. Each of the four sections contain 128 niches to shelter cremation remains. As a primary design feature, all niches are approximately 14‖ high and 13‖ wide — large enough to

For more information feel free to contact the Utah Veterans Cemetery and Memorial Park at 801.254.9036, or visit our website at www.veterans.utah.gov.

UTAH PARTICIPATES IN ANNUAL “WREATH ACROSS AMERICA” CEREMONY
by Larry Dawson
A presentation of a wreath at the Rotunda of the State Capitol on 10 December 2012 coincided with other presentations in other state capitols around the country.

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Command Sergeant-Major Basil L. Plumley, a renowned career soldier whose exploits as an Army infantryman were portrayed in a book and the movie We Were Soldiers, has died at age 92. Plumley fought in World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam and was awarded a medal for making five parachute jumps into combat. Plumley died of cancer on 10 October 2012. The Sergeant-Major was near-legendary in the Army and gained more widespread fame through the 2002 movie starring Mel Gibson. Actor Sam Elliott played Plumley in the film. ―He’s iconic in military circles,‖ said Greg Camp, Colonel, USARet. ―Among people who have been in the military, he’s beyond what a movie star would be. His legend permeates three generations of soldiers.‖ Plumley enlisted in the Army in 1942 and ended up serving 32 years in uniform. In World War II he fought in the Allied invasion of Italy at Salerno and the D-Day invasion at Normandy. He later fought with the 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment in Korea. In Vietnam, Plumley served as Sergeant-Major — the highest enlisted rank — in the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment. ―That puts him in the rarest of clubs,‖ said journalist Joseph L. Galloway, who met Plumley while covering the Vietnam War for United Press International and remained lifelong friends with him. ―To be combat infantry in those three wars, in the battles he participated in, and to have survived — that is miraculous.‖ Indeed, only 325 soldiers have ever received what is known as the Triple CIB (Combat Infantryman’s Badge). In the 2002 film, journalist Galloway said several of Elliott’s gruff one-liners in the movie were things Plumley actually said. For example, in the scene in which a soldier tells the Sergeant-Major good morning, Plumley’s retort ―Who made you the f_ _ _ ing weather man?‖ was genuine. ―Sam Elliott underplayed him. He was actually tougher than that,‖ Galloway said. ―He was gruff, monosyllabic, an absolute terror when it came to enforcing standards of training.‖

VETERANS OUTREACH RESOURCES AND SCHEDULES
Outreach representatives from several Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs) are available across the state at various Department of Workforce Services offices. See the monthly schedules to the right for times and locations. Please go to ww.veterans.utah.gov for an up-to-date schedule, or contact your local Department of Workforce Services office for the dates and times a service officer will be available. (Schedules are subject to change due to unforeseen events.) Direct all questions regarding this schedule to the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs at 801.326.2372 or 1.800.894.9497. To schedule an appointment in Moab or Blanding, call 1.800.894.9497 (make appointments at least 2 working days prior). For an Ogden appointment call the Wahlen Veterans Home at 801.334.4300.
Beaver Blanding Cedar City Clearfield Delta Fillmore Kanab Logan Manti Midvale Moab 875 N. Main Nephi 625 N. Main 544 N. 100 E. Panguitch 665 N. Main 176 E. 2nd N. Price 475 W. Price River Dr. 1290 E. 1450 S. Provo 1550 N. 200 W. 44 S. 350 E. Richfield 115 E. 100 S. 75 West Center Roosevelt 140 W. 425 S. 468 E. 300 S. St. George 162 N. 400 E. 180 N. 100 W. Tooele 305 N. Main St. 55 S. Main St. West Valley 2750 S. 5600 W. 7292 S. State Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home 457 Kane Creek Blvd. 1102 N. 1200 W.

Legend:
VFWN = VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS – NORTH ALN = AMERICAN LEGION – NORTH DAV = DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS TJS = THAD JENSEN – SOUTH RMS = RICK MCMULLIN – SOUTH GEWOVH = GEORGE E. WAHLEN VETERANS HOME For appointments in Moab or Blanding call 1.800.894.9497. For appointments at the Wahlen Veterans Home call 801.334.4300. Make appointments at least 2 working days in advance. All schedules are subject to change. Call the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs at 1.800.894.9497 with any questions.

A Partial List of Plumley’s Awards and Decorations
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Combat Infantryman Badge (three awards) Master Combat Parachutist Badge with gold star (5 combat jumps) Silver Star with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster Legion of Merit Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster and Valor Device Purple Heart with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters World War II Victory Medal Korean Service Medal with Arrowhead and 3 campaign stars Vietnam Service Medal with 1 silver and 3 bronze campaign stars Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal French Croix de Guerre (for World War II service) Belgian Croix de Guerre (for World War II service Vietnam Campaign Medal Command Sergeant-Major Basil L. Plumley, requiescas in pace.

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
You can see a DAV National Service Officer at the VA Regional Office at 550 Foothill Boulevard, #202. The DAV National Service Officer can assist Veterans and their dependents with issues related to VA benefits. One does not need an appointment to see a service officer. DAV National Service Office hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 0800 — 1600 hrs., and Wednesday: 0800 — 1200 hrs. The DAV van transports Veterans to and from appointments at the VA Medical Center. Schedule appointments with the DAV at 1.800.613.4012 ext. 2003.

The Utah Veterans Voice

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Editorial Comments 15

FEBRUARY
5 Price 0900 – 1000 hrs. Provo 1130 – 1300 hrs. Tooele 1430 – 1530 hrs. Logan 0900 – 1000 hrs. Ogden 1100 – 1200 hrs. Clearfield 1230 – 1400 hrs. Manti 0930 – 1030 hrs. Richfield 1200 – 1330 hrs. Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. GEWOVH 0900 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Nephi 0900 – 1000 hrs. Delta 1130 – 1230 hrs. Fillmore 1330 – 1430 hrs. Beaver 0900 – 1000 hrs. Panguitch 1130 – 1230 hrs. Kanab 1400 – 1500 hrs. Blanding 0930 – 1100 hrs. (By Appointment) Moab 1230 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) GEWOVH 0900 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. Roosevelt 1330 – 1530 hrs. Price 0800 – 0900 hrs. Provo 1030 – 1130 hrs. Clearfield 1330 – 1430 hrs. Logan 0900 – 1000 hrs. Ogden 1230 – 1430 hrs. Manti 0930 – 1030 hrs. Richfield 1200 – 1330 hrs. Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. Beaver 0900 – 1000 hrs. Panguitch 1130 – 1230 hrs. Kanab 1400 – 1500 hrs. Blanding 0930 – 1100 hrs. (By Appointment) Moab 1230 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. GEWOVH 0900 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) ALN ALN ALN ALN ALN ALN TJS TJS RMS RMS DAV TJS TJS TJS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS DAV RMS RMS VFWN VFWN VFWN DAV DAV DAV TJS TJS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS DAV

MARCH
7 Manti 0930 – 1030 hrs. Richfield 1200 – 1330 hrs. Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. GEWOVH 0900 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Nephi 0900 – 1000 hrs. Delta 1130 – 1230 hrs. Fillmore 1330 – 1430 hrs. Beaver 0900 – 1000 hrs. Panguitch 1130 – 1230 hrs. Kanab 1400 – 1500 hrs. Price 0900 – 1000 hrs. Provo 1130 – 1300 hrs. Tooele 1430 – 1530 hrs. Blanding 0930 – 1100 hrs. (By Appointment) Moab 1230 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Logan 0900 – 1000 hrs. Ogden 1100 – 1200 hrs. Clearfield 1230 – 1400 hrs. GEWOVH 0900 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. Roosevelt 1330 – 1530 hrs. Price 0800 – 0900 hrs. Provo 1030 – 1130 hrs. Clearfield 1330 – 1430 hrs. Logan 0900 – 1000 hrs. Ogden 1230 – 1430 hrs. Manti 0930 – 1030 hrs. Richfield 1200 – 1330 hrs. Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. Beaver 0900 – 1000 hrs. Panguitch 1130 – 1230 hrs. Kanab 1400 – 1500 hrs. Blanding 0930 – 1100 hrs. (By Appointment) Moab 1230 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. GEWOVH 0900 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) TJS TJS RMS RMS DAV TJS TJS TJS RMS RMS RMS ALN ALN ALN RMS RMS ALN ALN ALN DAV RMS RMS VFWN VFWN VFWN DAV DAV DAV TJS TJS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS DAV

APRIL
7 Manti 0930 – 1030 hrs. Richfield 1200 – 1330 hrs. Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. GEWOVH 0900 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Nephi 0900 – 1000 hrs. Delta 1130 – 1230 hrs. Fillmore 1330 – 1430 hrs. Beaver 0900 – 1000 hrs. Panguitch 1130 – 1230 hrs. Kanab 1400 – 1500 hrs. Price 0900 – 1000 hrs. Provo 1130 – 1300 hrs. Tooele 1430 – 1530 hrs. Blanding 0930 – 1100 hrs. (By Appointment) Moab 1230 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Logan 0900 – 1000 hrs. Ogden 1100 – 1200 hrs. Clearfield 1230 – 1400 hrs. GEWOVH 0900 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. Roosevelt 1330 – 1530 hrs. Price 0800 – 0900 hrs. Provo 1030 – 1130 hrs. Clearfield 1330 – 1430 hrs. Logan 0900 – 1000 hrs. Ogden 1230 – 1430 hrs. Manti 0930 – 1030 hrs. Richfield 1200 – 1330 hrs. Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. Beaver 0900 – 1000 hrs. Panguitch 1130 – 1230 hrs. Kanab 1400 – 1500 hrs. Blanding 0930 – 1100 hrs. (By Appointment) Moab 1230 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) Cedar City 0900 – 1030 hrs. St. George 1200 – 1430 hrs. GEWOVH 0900 – 1430 hrs. (By Appointment) TJS TJS RMS RMS DAV TJS TJS TJS RMS RMS RMS ALN ALN ALN RMS RMS ALN ALN ALN DAV RMS RMS VFWN VFWN VFWN DAV DAV DAV TJS TJS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS RMS DAV

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16 Editorial Comments

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The Utah Veterans Voice