By LORI EDMO-SUPPAH
FORT HALL — The Fort Hall Veterans Committee has evolved to make improvements to the Fort Hall Veterans Memorial Park located along U.S. Highway 91 south of the Fort Hall Townsite.
Brenda Jaramillo, Special Emphasis Program manager at Hill Air Force Base, is assisting with the project. The committee has been meeting since April and the intent is to show respect, love and honor for those who have passed on, those who have served and for those who are currently serving.
The committee met July 8 to have further discussions and also elected officers who include: Ruby LeClair Bernal, chairperson, Vicki Baldwin, treasurer and Randy’L Teton, secretary. Fort Hall Business Council member Donna Bollinger is the council liaison. The committee is separate from the Fort Hall Veterans Association although their members are invited to participate.
The committee is involved in a community-based effort to enhance the existing Fort Hall Veterans Memorial Park and all volunteers are welcome to attend the meetings. The next meeting is July 22 at 11:30 a.m. at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel & Events Center Deli.
Bernal said her interest in the project is because her late father Herb is a veteran and the fact the Memorial Park was neglected for many years. She and her family have cleaned the area and placed flowers. Her brother Lonnie advised her they needed to do something.
The first phase of the project is to put up eight flagpoles to represent all branches of the military and the Purple Heart flag because the Fort Hall Indian Reservation is the first one designated a Purple Heart Reservation. All of the military service flags will fly in honor and memory of the men and women who served in the Armed Forces. The American flag and Shoshone-Bannock Tribes will also be posted.
The committee is putting in for a grant to help cover the cost of the flagpoles that will also include solar lights. Other goals for the park include benches, sidewalks, an additional monument because the existing one only lists volunteers for WWI, WWI veterans and WWII veterans. In addition, a picnic area may be under consideration.
There was also discussion to create some coins that could be presented to veterans that would have the Purple Heart logo on it.
Bernal said she’s excited for the project to proceed but realizes it will be a long road.
The committee will also be seeking donations. For more information contact Ruby Bernal at 801-586-4770 or Randy’L Teton at 208-589-8595 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fort Hall Veterans Memorial Park as it appears now.