By Conrad Dudderar
A Bronze Star Medal winner whose efforts supported the global war on terror will be the keynote speaker at a Yukon banquet this fall.
Lt. Col. Jonathan P. McDonald is set to address fellow veterans, their families and other guests during the 10th anniversary Yukon Veterans Museum Gala.
The festivities will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 inside the Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore.
The Yukon Veterans Museum’s annual gala celebrates Yukon’s military veterans and raises funds for Yukon’s military museum on Route 66.
Museum founder and curator Rick Cacini encourages Yukon citizens, business and organizations to support the museum and come hear Lt. Col. McDonald’s speech.
“We want to honor our Armed Forces – not only on this special occasion – but each day we open the museum doors and share the history of the sacrifices made for our freedoms,” said Cacini, a retired U.S. Army and Air Force lieutenant colonel.
The 10th anniversary gala’s featured speaker has served in a variety of U.S. Air Force leadership positions – including chief of the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Strategy and Plans Branch at The Pentagon.
Lt. Col. McDonald is the commander for the 349th Recruiting Squadron headquartered at Tinker Air Force Base. The squadron a 180,000 square-mile area encompassing Oklahoma, Kansas, western Missouri and western Arkansas.
Lt. Col. McDonald has been deployed to Haiti, Afghanistan and Quatar where he supported Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Unified Response, Inherent Response, Freedom Sentinel, New Dawn, and Resolute Support.
He has received many major awards and decorations:
Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air and Space Commendation Medal, Air and Space Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Award, and Air and Space Outstanding Unit Award.
Also, Air and Space Recognition Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Remote Combat Effects Campaign Medal, Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal, Air and Space Expeditionary Service Ribbon, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, and NATO Medal.
HERE’S MORE …
Other highlights of the Oct. 19th Yukon Veterans Museum Gala will be an awards ceremony, silent auction, raffles, catered dinner, and live entertainment by the Oklahoma City Chorus.
The Boy Scouts will present the colors and the OKC Chorus will sign the National Anthem.
The Yukon Veterans Museum, 1010 W Main, features historic displays and military artifacts from all U.S. service branches – Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Merchant Marines, National Guard, Navy, and Space Force.
Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Tours are available by appointment outside those hours.
The Yukon Veterans Museum started in July 2013 on the second floor of the Yukon Museum & Arts Center (Old Central School) building.
In 2016, the museum moved to the American Legion Post 160 building – a shared space it has nearly outgrown.
Tickets to the Yukon Veterans Museum’s 10th Anniversary Gala are $30 for adults and $15 for children 12 years and under.
Sponsors, raffle and auction items are needed. All donations are tax-deductible.
For more information, call (405) 517-1901 or (405) 265-2565 or email YVMF42@hotmail.com.