By Conrad Dudderar
Although Veterans Day comes just once each year, Yukon residents are reminded they should honor U.S. veterans much more often than on this one day.
With the official observance of Veterans Day next Monday, Nov. 11, Yukon schools, churches and civic groups are hosting programs to honor veterans and military service members.
Veterans are being recognized for their service in all branches of the military: U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines.
“Our community has done a great job of doing just that,” said Yukon City Council Member Rick Cacini, founder and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum.
“Veterans Day honors our veterans. It’s unfortunate we have many still in hospitals and recovering from their combat injuries.”
Cacini was among members of the Yukon Veterans Museum and American Legion Post 160 who prepared this week for Veterans’ Day activities across Yukon and Canadian County.
Many restaurants will provide free meals for U.S. veterans as part of the annual holiday.
Yukon Veterans Museum members are bringing their mobile unit to presentations over several days at Veterans Day events and local schools. They will participate in a veterans’ parade Saturday in El Reno and a senior veterans’ dinner next Tuesday at the Dale Robertson Center.
Meanwhile, Cacini will speak on Veterans Day next Monday to a women’s group at St. John Nepomuk Catholic Church.
Yukon American Legion Post 160 and the Yukon Veterans Museum work together to provide U.S. veterans with guidance, leadership, food, housing, and other help.
“We try to keep the veterans together and make sure they’re housed,” Cacini said.
“This museum belongs to the Coalition of Homeless Veterans … we ensure Canadian County is covered so no veteran is left out on the street.”
The Yukon Veterans Museum hosts a veterans’ service day from 9 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday each month.
U.S. military veterans and their families get help applying for Veterans Administration (VA) benefits and receiving services like post-traumatic stress disorder counseling.
“If a veteran is on Medicare and has diabetes, we can get them free shoes,” museum trustee Jerry Icenhower said.
“We’re just trying to reach anyone we can who qualifies for any of these services.”
ABOUT THE MUSEUM
The Yukon Veterans Museum, housed inside the American Legion Building at 1010 W Main, shares the history of the sacrifices U.S. veterans have made for the freedom citizens enjoy today.
Displays feature uniforms, helmets, weapons, battlefield gear, flags, historic photographs, newspaper clippings, and military documents.
Artifacts and memorabilia have been donated by individuals, veterans and their families.
“About 85 percent of what we have here at the museum has been given to us by families to commemorate loved ones who served and to share their stories with others,” Icenhower said.
Yukon Veterans Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; with special tours available by appointment.
Museum board members are: President Rick Cacini (U.S. Army and Air Force), Vice President Eddie “Mac” McFadden (U.S. Marines), Treasurer Jerry Stafford (U.S. Navy), Secretary Jack Stewart, and Historian/Chaplain Jenny Crane (U.S. Marine widow).
Museum trustees are Jerry Icenhower (U.S. Air Force), Jeff Kranz (U.S. Air Force) and Dale DeKinder (U.S. Air Force).
“The City of Yukon is right behind us all the way,” Cacini said.
“We thank Yukon residents for supporting our veterans and our veterans’ museum, and the city for all they do for us. We continue to receive donations and look forward to growing in the years to come.”
For more information, call 517-1901, 514-6794 or 265-2828.