Tinker commander to speak at gala

Annual Yukon Veterans Museum benefit Sept. 17

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Tinker AFB Commander Col. Paul G. Filcek. (Photo provided)

By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer

A Tinker Air Force base installation commander will be the keynote speaker at a Yukon veterans’ banquet this fall.

Col. Paul G. Filcek, the 72nd Air Base Wing commander at Tinker AFB, will address the audience at the Yukon Veterans Museum’s anniversary gala on Thursday, Sept. 17 at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program starts at 6:45 p.m.

The benefit gala celebrates the seventh year of the Yukon Veterans Museum. Festivities will feature Col. Filcek’s address, a catered dinner, silent auction, and recognition of U.S. military veterans and museum supporters.

“This is the major fundraiser for the museum to assist us in maintaining artifacts donated by so many veterans and families in our community,” said Lt. Col. (ret.) Rick Cacini, the museum’s founder and curator.

“We must continually maintain all the artifacts and displays to make sure they’re safe and secure inside our museum.”

The Yukon Veterans Museum occupies a 4,100 square foot space inside the American Legion building, 1010 W Main. The museum features: Battlefield gear, historic photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings, flags, uniforms, helmets, weapons, military documents, and much more.

“We want to honor our armed forces each day we open the museum doors and share the history of the sacrifices made for our freedoms,” Cacini said.

The Sept. 17th banquet speaker, Col. Filcek, leads nearly 3,000 airmen and is responsible for $5.4 billion in resources and a $311 million operating budget. He provides installation support for more than 27,000 personnel.

“Col. Filcek was selected by our museum staff because he’s a new commander at Tinker,” Cacini said. “He was named to that position because of his vast experience and expertise. He’s done a lot for our country and we’re looking forward to his presentation.”

Filcek commands the 72nd Air Base Wing, which enables many critical missions at Tinker AFB – the largest single-site employer in Oklahoma. His maintenance and programming experience spans six major commands and includes 19 unique aircraft types.

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Attendees of the Sept. 17th Yukon Veterans Museum Gala will have their temperatures checked as part of COVID-19 procedures.

“The City of Yukon and our museum staff are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and security of our guests,” said Cacini, a Yukon City Council member.

Dinner at next month’s veterans’ celebration will be provided by Johnny Carino’s restaurant. Local Boy Scouts and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) members will help serve the meal.

Joe Boucherie will provide live piano music and Larry Taylor will play “Taps” on the trumpet.

Tickets to the upcoming Yukon Veterans Museum Gala are $25 in advance and $35 at the door.

Sponsorships are $500 (red), $300 (white) and $100 (blue).

Regular hours at the Yukon Veterans Museum are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Tours are available, by appointment, outside those hours.

For more information, call Jerry Icenhower at (405) 514-6794, Eddie “Mac” McFadden at (405) 203-3613 or Cacini at (405) 517-1901.