By Conrad Dudderar
Senior Staff Writer
A Yukon veteran and Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame ambassador has been honored for his contributions to a statewide organization.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. (ret.) Rick Cacini, founder of the Yukon Veterans Museum, was presented a medallion on Aug. 14 to recognize his support of the Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation.
The medallion states, “Spirit of a Warrior, Heart of a Patriot.”
Helping honor Cacini was Col. (ret.) Kelly Zachgo, vice president of the foundation’s board.
“His military experience is quite impressive,” Zachgo said. “He’s done quite a few things in his career.
“And I am most impressed with what he’s done with the museum and all the activities that his group does. They’re really accomplished a lot.”
Yukon Veterans Museum members helped the Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation by setting up a POW/MIA table at last October’s Military Hall of Fame banquet in Norman.
Cacini is president and curator of the Yukon Veterans Museum, 1010 W Main.
Cacini served the U.S. in special operations during police actions in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East. He also is a member of the Yukon City Council.
Cacini is among about 180 volunteers from across Oklahoma who serve as ambassadors for the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.
This group shares a common desire to honor the extraordinary leadership and heroic actions of Oklahoma service men and women.
Enthusiastic, patriotic, energetic people – with or without military backgrounds – are encouraged to join in this rewarding effort to recognize Oklahoma’s finest.
“There are always opportunities to help the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame,” Zachgo said.
The Oklahoma Military Heritage Foundation, sponsor of the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 to honor Oklahomans – living or deceased – for extraordinary military service and/or sacrifice to the nation.
New Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame members are typically inducted annually to celebrate Veterans Day. But there won’t be a ceremony this year due to COVID-related safety concerns.
Zachgo was pleased to recognize Yukon’s Cacini as an ambassador.
“He can enlighten others about the organization and encourage people to nominate military heroes so we can induct them in future years,” Zachgo said.
Learn more at https://okmhf.org/
VETERANS MUSEUM GALA SEPT. 17
Although there will be no Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame induction ceremony this year, the Yukon Veterans Museum will present its anniversary gala next month.
The Yukon Veterans Museum will celebrate its seventh year with a banquet set Thursday, Sept. 17 at the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore. Doors open at 6 p.m. the program starts at 6:45 p.m.
Keynote speaker will be Col. Paul C. Filcek, the 72nd Air Base Wing commander at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City.
Tickets are $25 in advance or $35 at the door. Sponsors are needed – red ($500), white ($300) and blue ($100).
Funds raised will support the Yukon Veterans Museum, which occupies a 4,100 square foot space inside the Yukon American Legion building.
The museum’s vast collection features: Battlefield gear, historic photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings, flags, uniforms, helmets, weapons, military documents, and much more.
The museum has a mobile unit deployed to schools, retirement centers, health care facilities, and special events.
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.