Salute to Idaho Veterans event announces guest speaker and essay contest winner

October 31, 2018 GMT

POCATELLO - Farm Bureau is proud to announce this year’s guest speaker at the eighth annual Farm Bureau “Salute to Idaho Veterans” is U.S Army Sergeant Major (Retired) Leslie Chapman of Idaho Falls.

During four tours in Vietnam as a Top Secret Recon Team Leader in Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam, Chapman was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, six Bronze Stars with “V”s for Valor, nine Air Medals with “V”s for Valor, five Army Commendation Medals with “V”s for Valor, six Purple Hearts, and other service awards.

Chapman also spent four years with the Special Forces Group in Panama, fought in the invasion of Grenada in 1983, and helped train the Contras in Honduras. He retired from the Army in 1987 after 21 years of dedicated service.

In addition to Chapman’s talk, the event will feature a Meet and Greet, a traditional flag ceremony performed by the Pocatello American Legion and the Pocatello Military Order of the Purple Heart, recognition of Veterans with the Idaho Falls Brass Quintet playing military branch hymns, a luncheon, a Veterans slide show, free photo portraits for Veterans and current Armed Services personnel, and a complimentary gift. The Salute is a free event for Veterans and current Armed Services personnel and their families.

Farm Bureau will also be honored this year with a “Purple Heart Business Award” by the Pocatello Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Winners of Farm Bureau’s eighth annual statewide “Veterans Day Essay Contest” will also present a portion of their essays at the Salute. The contest was designed to give Idaho students the opportunity to learn more about the sacrifices made by their family members who have served in the Armed Forces and what that service means to them. Entries were divided into three categories for judging: 1st through 6th grade, 7th through 9th grade, and 10th through 12th grade. One winner from each category will be awarded a check: $250 for Category 1, $500 for Category 2, and $750 for Category 3.

Winners of the Salute to Idaho Veterans 2018 essay contest are:

1st through 6th grade

Kylie Kyle, 3rd grade, Pocatello, ID

7th through 9th grade

Emma Standley, 8th grade, Pocatello, ID

10th through 12th grade

Laurna Chapman, 12th grade, Idaho Falls, ID

The Salute will be held Friday, Nov. 9, at Farm Bureau’s 275 Tierra Vista Drive location in Pocatello. The event gets underway at 10:30 a.m. with an informal Meet and Greet and concludes at 1 p.m. with complimentary photographs of servicemen and women taken by professional photographer Eric Gordon.

If you are a Veteran or currently in the Armed Services and would like to attend, please RSVP to Peggy Sorensen at 239-4201 or psorensen@idfbins.com.