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ALSO: Leading with ‘The Right Hand’ WWII: The Two D-Days of June 1944


MAY 2019


Follow the Flag

Keep going wherever it may lead



Our staff of trained professionals stand ready to assist you in many ways, such as: • Outreach Activities - Help with VA Pension, and Aid & Attendance - Service Connected Disability Claims • Job Fairs - Getting you employed, skills workshops, etc. • etc. • • The Homeless Veterans Stand-Down - Providing food, shelter, and clothing The Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs is here to serve you. We operate: • The Utah Veterans Cemetery and Memorial Park • Four Veterans Homes from Ogden to St. George • The State Approving Agency for Veterans Education Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs 550 Foothill Drive, Suite 150 Salt Lake City, Utah 84113 Phone: 801-326-2372 Email:

14 Contents Doing Business

Leading with ‘The Right Hand’ pages 6-12

Normandy and Saipan

The Two D-Days of June 1944 pages 14-21

4 28

Follow the Flag

A ‘Powerful, Palpable’ Movement pages 22-27

DEPARTMENTS The Briefing: Suicide Prevention / 4-5 Service and Sacrifice: Veteran Honor Salutes / 4-5 On the Homefront: Hardening the Grid / 12-13 WWII Talks: Don Pullman: It was Awful / 16 WWII Talks: Burke Waldron: War is Tragic / 20 R&R: Hangar Dances / 28-29

on the cover :

Follow the Flag flies “Big Besty” over Grove Creek Canyon in recognition of Independence Day.

courtesy of drewarmstrong . com

WWW.UTAHVALOR.COM UTAH MEDIA GROUP / 4770 South 5600 West, West Valley City UT 84118 / To subscribe: 801-204-6100 / To advertise: 801-204-6300 PROJECT TEAM / Brent Low, Publisher / Megan Donio, Publications Manager / Michelle Bridges, Project Editor / Utah Media Group Creative VALOR: A Salute to Utah’s Veterans and Military is a publication of Utah Media Group and distributed in partnership with Deseret News and The Salt Lake Tribune. Copyright © may 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any format without consent of Utah Media Group. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication and assume no liability for errors, inaccuracies or omissions.

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va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y


The Briefing U ta h h a s a n e n ga g i n g m i l i ta r y c o m m u n i t y w i t h d e e p r oo t s a n d b ra n ch e s t h a t r e a ch f a r a n d w i d e. O u r m y r i a d o f s to r i e s a r e tol d i n o u r s ch ool s , l i b ra r i e s , m u s e u m s , a c t iv i t i e s a n d h o m e s . E ve r y n o w a n d t h e n VA LO R c o m e s a c r o s s i n te r e s t i n g “ b i t s a n d p i e c e s ” t h a t w e w a n t to s h a r e w i t h o u r r e a d e r s .

NAC offers open adventures with military family days


he National Ability Center provides world-class adaptive recreation and Splore outdoor adventures for individuals and families of differing abilities, physical, cognitive and developmental, including competitive athletes, youth, active duty military, veterans and more. From individual activities to multi-day retreats, the National Ability Center offers a number of individual and group programs for servicemen, servicewomen and their families. These programs are designed to develop and encourage independence and general health and wellness consistent with a balanced and physically active lifestyle, as well as smooth the transition from military to civilian life. Military programs include individual family and group recreation, advanced adaptive recreation camps and respite and wellness retreats. Currently, they serve approximately 1,500 active duty, veterans and their families each year and offer Monthly Military Family Days at no cost to individuals and their families. For more information or the full list of open adventures, visit


va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y

LEARN MORE ABOUT MONTHLY MILITARY FAMILY DAYS DURING THE SUMMER The NAC invite veterans, reserve, active-duty service members, first responders and their families to learn about activities and enjoy a day in the great outdoors. n JUNE 15 Family Crag Classic, Big Cottonwood Canyon n JULY 13 Summit Saturday, Big Cottonwood Canyon n AUGUST 17 Whitewater Rafting Trip, Fisher Towers n SEPTEMBER 14 9/11 Day of Remembrance, Echo Reservoir n OCTOBER 12 NAC Ninja Warrior, National Ability Center n NOVEMBER 2 Rein in PTSD, National Ability Center Equestrian Center No cost to NAC veterans and their family. 435-649-3991 Details and registration at

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05/27 MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCES Remember those who died while serving in the Armed Forces. Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs remembrance at Utah Veterans Cemetery and Memorial Park, 17111 S. Camp Williams Rd., Bluffdale, 10 a.m. Monday. Information for additional ceremonies around the state at


SUICIDE PREVENTION IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS We’ve all heard the number — 20 veterans die by suicide each day, but the number you may not have heard is 14 out of 20 are not receiving health care from VA. For this reason, the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System’s suicide prevention team and the VA are taking a community approach to helping end this crisis. “Suicide is everyone’s business,” said Michael Tragakis, VA Salt Lake suicide prevention director. “We need to work with primary care, mental health, community clinics, the state and communities to help find veterans who are at risk.” VA Salt Lake provides veterans, who have attempted suicide or are thinking about it, suicide prevention case management. The case manager follows up with the Veteran says Tragakis, offers them support and different resources, but most of the all, they keep in touch with the veteran for months and see how they are progressing. Additionally, every staff member at VA Salt Lake is trained on the “S.A.V.E.” method. The acronym “S.A.V.E.” can help everyone remember the important steps involved in suicide prevention:


of suicidal thinking should be recognized.

the most important question of all.


the Veteran’s experience.


treatment and Expedite getting help.

VA is actively reaching out to churches, universities, businesses, and other organizations to teach S.A.V.E. training in the community. A good way to expedite getting help is calling the Veterans Crisis Line. VA offers a free, confidential support line 24/7 365 days a year for Veterans or their loved ones. A Veteran can call the crisis line at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 to be connected to help. Tragakis says the Veteran gets immediate help on the phone and then the local VA follows up with the Veteran after the call. Text and online chat options are also available. If a Veteran is in immediate danger, the Veteran or a loved one should call 911. Community outreach is another big portion of suicide prevention at VA Salt Lake. It actively engages in follow-up with Veterans in community hospitals, and touches base with Vet Centers, Veteran Service Organizations (e.g., VFW, DAV, or American Legion), churches, libraries and other community organizations. VA conducts suicide education at community events and provides guidance to local and state leaders. We can all be there for our Veterans says Tragakis. To learn about the resources available for Veterans and how you can #BeThere for a Veteran, visit: mentalhealth. —BY JEREMY LAIRD, VA GEORGE E. WAHLEN MEDICAL CENTER m ay

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Amazing day for our military and families. Friday is movie night so bring your rides or chairs and enjoy live music before the show, 6 p.m. Satuday is the car show, flag ceremony and music, 9 a.m. Over 500 cars and motorcycles. Layton Commons Park, 437 N. Wasatch Drive, Layton. Free.

06/14 PROVO FREEDOM FESTIVAL FLAG RETIREMENT CEREMONY Program is centered around and dedicated to our Gold Star families. Keynote Don and Janet Henscheid. Displays of vehicles honoring veterans. Tribute to American Legion’s 100 years. Veterans Memorial Park, 800 E. Center, Provo, 7 p.m. Friday.

06/15 FORT DOUGLAS DAY Bring the entire family for a fun day of historic proportions — meet reenactors from major wars, explore vintage vehicles, chat with WWII veterans, visit with neighboring reserve units, and climb the wall. Fort Douglas Military Museum, 32 Potter Street, University of Utah, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

08/10 UTAH STATE PARKS MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY Utah state parks offer free day-use entrance for active military, veterans and their family. Many parks will host events to celebrate like pancake breakfasts, 5K races, flag ceremonies, canoe rentals, disc golf tournaments, and more. For a list of all activities, visit FOLLOW US at utahvalormag or online at va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y


Sacrifice & Service



n the pleasant days of early April, a group of family members and friends of Naulon Eades gathered together at his home for an Honor Salute ceremony hosted by Community Nursing Services’ staff, volunteers, and active-duty military liaisons. There was a feeling of celebration and excitement in the air, reminiscent of an all-hands awards presentation or retirement ceremony. Smiles all around. Neighbors drove by slowly to see what the excitement was all about and why there were men and women in military dress uniforms. The ceremony was moving and memorable, and included a certificate of appreciation presentation, pinning, flag folding ceremony, and an honor salute. A beautiful Utah sunset gave the ceremony a dramatic closing. Eades, a 2nd Class Petty Officer and U.S. Navy veteran, served during World War II. Many like him did not have a choice about joining the military and were drafted into service. “For many of these veterans, with the exception of family and friends, they’ve never been thanked.” Army Lt. Col. Robyn Pietron, professor of Military Science at University of Utah for Army ROTC, continued, “this is an unofficial but formal way to say thank you, and I think that is important.” The Honor Salute is for the veteran, and offers solace, pride and closure. It is a chance to show veterans gratitude for the sacrifices they made in service. It is because of their hard work that Veterans have the support we have today. Community Nursing Services (CNS) is one home health and hospice care organizations in Utah that hosts honor salute and pinning ceremonies for veterans in the last phase of life. Sheri Harrell, director of volunteers for CNS, and retired U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Gary Bell implemented the Honor Salute program in


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2015. Bell consulted with Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs to ensure these ceremonies would not supersede any veteran eligibilities such as burial benefits. Since inception, CNS has conducted 228 Honor Salutes across the state of Utah. What distinguishes CNS’ Honor Salute ceremonies is that they strive to get an active-duty or reserve volunteer from the same military branch as the veteran being honored. “Honor Salutes bring peace, pride and closure for the veterans who often haven’t talked about their military experience since they left the service. They come home, restart their lives and even bury hard memories,” Harwell said. “It is important to do salutes for the veterans while the veteran is responsive and aware so they can feel the appreciation and gratitude we have for the service they gave our country.” Sadly, Eades passed away a few days after his ceremony was held. Harrell implores that veterans in hospice care and their family members considering an Honor Salute should reach out early to ensure the ceremony is held.

CULMINATING HONORS There is a growing community here in Utah that is serving veterans in their last phase of life. Like CNS, other organizations in Utah are hosting similar ceremonies to honor veterans. Amy Muller, provider relations specialist for Elevation Home Health & Hospice (Elevation Hospice), explains under the We Honor Veterans (WHV ) program, Elevation Hospice has conducted 263 ceremonies and veteran events since 2017. The WHV program was established by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2010. The WHV program m ay

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Navy Veteran Naulon Eades is surrounded by family and friends in a Honor Salute conducted by Community Nursing Services. umg photos

WANT TO KNOW MORE? National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization ( collaborates with Department of Veterans Affairs arrange for salutes for veterans and families. Community Nursing Services Sheri Harrell, Director of Volunteers, 801-967-9207, Elevation Home Health & Hospice Amy Muller, Provider Relations Specialist, 801-610-1868,

provides resources and tools to community hospices across the country to encourage veteran-specific care and services. WHV lists more than 50 organizations in Utah that are actively participating in the program at varying partnership levels. According to Muller, ranking in the program starts with “recruit” level and then moves up through “star” levels 1-4 up to regional mentor status. Muller and Elevation Hospice are currently working on attaining regional mentor status in the WHV program. “We worked very hard to move from recruit to Level 4 in 2018.” Daniel Rogers, the founder of Elevation Hospice, recruited Navy veteran Rick Washington and Amy Muller, to implement the WHV program to their clients and surrounding community. Muller said, “We have a small program with only four veteran volunteers: Stanley Martinez, Randy Edwards, Jim Olive and Rick Washington.” Edwards is a past Utah state commander for the American Legion and Martinez is a past Utah state commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Volunteers typically come from family members of those saluted and from the surrounding community. “We are always happy to bring another veteran volunteer onto our team,” said Muller. According to Muller, more than 25 percent of their clients are veterans. “It is very important to recognize the unique needs m ay

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of each veteran and to honor them for the important service they have given to our country.” On every admission, Elevate Hospice completes a checklist to gather basic details about each client’s military history. “We use this information to give our clients a veteran salute if they wish. All clients who are honorably discharged veterans are honored for their service,” said Muller. “We arrange a time with the family to meet, we invite friends, family and hospice team members and our veteran liaison to visit the home to honor the veteran.” At each ceremony, an Elevate Hospice veteran liaison presents the veteran with a framed certificate of appreciation and presents a flag in their honor for their service to the United States. “There is often much emotion, including tears, by the family and veteran with each salute ceremony,” said Muller. “It brings a great feeling of patriotism and respect to each veteran that we care for.” Apollo Burgamy is a U.S. Navy veteran that served as a Public Affairs Officer recently with the Navy Office of Community Outreach and previously in South Korea overseeing the U.S. Forces Korea Navy Component’s Good Neighbor Program. He served two OIF/OEF deployments and worked with NGOs in support of counter-piracy operations and humanitarian assistance missions. He now works as the Volunteer & Alumni Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah. va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y


Doing Business T h e B e e h ive S ta te h a s a d y n a m i c a n d d ive r s e e c o n o m y. D e f e n s e - r el a te d i n d u s t r i e s a r e pa r t o f t h a t e n v i r o n m e n t . Fr o m b u s i n e s s boa r d r oo m s , go ve r n m e n t o f f i c e s , e d u c a t i o n a l c l a s s r oo m s a n d i n d iv i d u a l l ivel i h ood s , VA LO R i n t r od u c e s r e a d e r s to t h e m a n y pa r t n e r s a n d r e s o u r c e s f i n d i n g s u c c e s s i n t h e m a rk e t pl a c e.



fo r va lo r m aga z i n e

oshua Adams wants to bring love back to the workplace. The Marine veteran says that loving your employees is key to their success, and to your success. As the owner and CEO of Perspective Approach, Adams teaches companies how to develop leaders and boost performance, all based around a theme of love. Born from a military family, Adams joined the Marines at 17 and was rapidly promoted through the ranks to Gunnery Sergeant and was awarded numerous medals for leadership and valor in combat. After receiving significant injuries, he was medically retired in 2014. Today, he’s taken the lessons learned while serving to create leadership philosophies that work. His company’s motto is “Shields to the Left,” a phrase that comes from the Spartan Phalanx formation. Adams explains that each Spartan warrior had a shield to protect the man on his left. In fact, it’s where the term “right-hand man” comes from. Central to Adams’ leadership philosophy is that leaders have an obligation to use their talents to guide the person on their “left” and to become their “righthand” person. Moreover, he believes you can train all employees to adopt this mindset, creating an unbreakable team. But, you can’t be a part of this team without loving those around you. “If you want to grow your business, learn how to love your people,” Adams says. “What does that look like? It looks like the


va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y

VBRC NAMES NEW DIRECTOR The Veteran Business Resource Center (VBRC) functions similarly to the 15 statewide Small Business Development Centers, but is specialized, providing an important mentor and advocate for veterans as they navigate the many business and veteran-focused resources at their disposal. Supported by the Veteran Owned Business Partnership, the VBRC is housed in the Salt Lake Community College Miller Business Resource Center in Sandy. Starting this spring, the VBRC has a new director with Richard “Rick” Brown. He served in the Air Force during Vietnam, worked with the Secret Service, has experience in international negotiations and project management, as well as academia and volunteerism. He holds degrees business, law and psychology.

father who disciplines his children; it looks like somebody who provides opportunities for people to advance; it looks like shutting up, sitting down, and having a 10-minute conversation when you can tell somebody is hurt; and it’s completely destroying the old ideology of work is work and home is home.” But it isn’t just love that Adams aims to bring to the workplace — it’s tough love. He says too many managers don’t hold their employees accountable.


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photo courtesy of warrior rising




tarting a business takes grit, sacrifice and determination — attributes that often describe veterans. And while many veterans aspire to become entrepreneurs, it’s far from easy. That’s where Warrior Rising can help. The nonprofit is a tribe of veterans and veteran supporters dedicated to helping veterans find their purpose again through business ownership. “We empower veterans and their immediate family members to help themselves by providing opportunities to create sustainable businesses, perpetuate the hiring of fellow U.S. military veterans and earn their success,” says Executive Director Jason Van Camp. “We see a lot of organizations giving handouts — veterans say thank you, go back home, and realize, ‘nothing’s really changed, my life is still the same.’” Warrior Rising aims to make real change in the lives of veterans. “We translated the military operations order into a business model so veterans can easily understand how to start a business,” says Van Camp. “In addition, we provide very intimate one-on-one mentoring for each veteran that graduates from our academy.

Lastly, we provide financial assistance to our veterans through a grant, loan or investment opportunity. No other veteran nonprofit provides such one-stop-shop services.” Warrior Rising has helped many veteran entrepreneurs launch their startups, including 13 Folds Apparel ( whose motto is “Uncompromised.” “When they first attended our in-person Warrior Academy event, they were dead set on destroying the competition,” recalls Van Camp. “As we explained to them, sometimes the best way to destroy your competition is to reach out to them, engage in a friendly conversation and find out if there is some way that you could exist and work together — to everyone’s benefit. This realization was groundbreaking for them.” Today, with the help of Warrior Rising, 13 Folds Apparel is growing strong, and Van Camp looks forward to helping even more veteran entrepreneurs succeed. —BY SARAH RYTHAN FRANCOM FOR VALOR


WE CALL THEM VETREPRENEURS. Entrepreneurship program empowers veterans and their immediate families by providing them opportunities to create and build sustainable businesses, perpetuate the hiring of fellow U.S. military veterans and earn employment.

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BOOTS TO BUSINESS AND REBOOT A two-day training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership as a career vocation, knowledge of a business plan, a practical exercise in opportunity recognition, and introduction to available public and private resources.


WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTER The center strives to provide free or low cost trainings on business planning, marketing and sales, management, government contracts, international trade and financing. Everyone can take advantage of these great tools!

va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y



Norman Serrano.

photo courtesy of vibetech



s a young Air Force helicopter crew chief, Norman Serrano found that a helicopter vibrated more just before it broke down. His conclusion was to adjust or repair helicopters as soon as they started to vibrate. Serrano subsequently learned to dynamically balance spinning subsystems of the helicopter platform, including the main and tail rotor systems, which resulted in smoothed-out vibrations. It was a technique that saved the Air Force thousands of flight hours. Upon separating from the Air Force, Serrano was recruited by a leading aerospace company, where he worked as their applications engineer. During this time, Serrano knew that vibration data proved the helicopter industry was on the wrong path. He soon became an independent consultant and further developed his dynamic balancing technology. After spending years developing his Vibration Intelligent Balance Solution (VIBS™) technology, Serrano applied the algorithm to almost anything that spins — and saw phenomenal results. Today, transportation, manufacturing, aerospace and green energy (wind turbines) industries have successfully used Serrano’s technology.

After many years working as an independent consultant, Serrano launched VibeTech International (VTI) ( with an office located in the Utah Valley University Business Resource Center (, which offers specialized advisors to assist veteran business owners. Serrano says he couldn’t have built his business without the guidance the center offered. “I believe the secret to my success has been two-fold: being blessed with an understanding of how to balance complex systems that spin, and the business platform the UVU BRC has given me to grow the company,” he says. “At first, I just thought of the BRC as an office space for startup companies, occasionally offering classes and trainings. I could have never been more wrong. From a personal advisor to the center director, each person was dedicated to help me learn how to be a better executive and enable my company to grow.” —BY SARAH RYTHAN FRANCOM FOR VALOR






INCUBATOR SPACES There are 15 Business Resource Centers in Utah, each a convenient one-stop shop for business needs. The BRCs across the Wasatch Front have incubator space available. See Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development for a list of centers.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT NETWORK The network is the largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses in every stage of development. The network has 14 locations across Utah that provide free business training events.

EMERGING LEADERS Over the course of seven months, participants work with experienced mentors, attend specialized workshops and develop connections. Recruitment occurs on an annual basis, beginning in February and classes typically begin in April.

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few years after Aliahu “Alli” Bey began his contracting company with Haight Bey (, he knew that he needed to refine its focus from five core concepts to one. That’s where the Veterans in Business Network helped. After attending a VIB conference, Bey decided to focus on cyber compliance education and training for entities in the Department of Defense space. “If you’re Target and you have credit cards, or you’re Harbor Freight and you have a list of subcontractors below you, and you want to ensure that they’re keeping your information private, that’s where we come in and can help them build policies and procedures around a standard cyber security framework,” explains Bey. With the help of VIB, Bey launched Totem Technologies, made a strategic hire and began focusing on marketing and business development toward its refined mission. Bey also received guidance from the SBA’s Emerging Leaders program. “My biggest takeaway from Emerging Leaders was don’t be afraid to allow your people to manage in your stead,” says Bey. “I don’t need to be here managing my government contracts side of the house every single day. I need to be managing the growth of the organization. So I’ve put my people in charge of the government contracting side, and it runs flawlessly. So now, my job as the CEO and business development dude is to go out and find other opportunities.” By refining its core mission, with the help of VIB and Emerging Leaders, Totem Technologies was able to secure several key contracts that have propelled the business to success. Today, the company has grown to include 11 full time and 17 part time employees.

Alli Bey.

photo courtesy of haight bey

According to the folks at the VIB Network, the work they’ve done with Alli and Haight Bey has been a mutual partnership and a pleasant one. “They have been involved since the beginning. Their commitment to the veteran community is clearly evident in the way they conduct their business,” stated Director Rebecca Aguilera-Gardiner. “In fact, we were pleased to award Alli Bey the 2018 Oscar Mike Award for going above and beyond in helping veteran businesses succeed.” —BY SARAH RYTHAN FRANCOM FOR VALOR




VETERANS IN BUSINESS NETWORK A nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that advocates for all veteran businesses. VIB helps build connections between veteran businesses, corporations, government agencies and prime Contractors looking to create opportunities together.

START, GROW, INTERNATIONAL A series of three-day, 27-hour comprehensive certification programs designed for veteran-owned small businesses to enter/expand their ability to win government contracts. VIP is offered at no cost to participants.

ASSOCIATION OF PROCUREMENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER Counselors experienced in government contracting through an array of services such as classes, individual counseling, access to bid opportunities, contract specs, procurement histories, and more.

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va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y



MORE RESOURCES FOR WOMEN VETERANS AND VETERAN FAMILIES VWISE: VETERAN WOMEN IGNITING THE SPIRIT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP Women-focused training program in entrepreneurship and small business management that provides tools, ongoing support and business mentorship to veterans, active-duty service members and military spouses aspiring to become successful entrepreneurs. There is a $75 registration fee and you have to pay your way to the residency program. • Phase I: 15-day online intensive • Phase II: 3-day residency experience • Phase III: 12-month ongoing support focused on small business creation and growth

V-WISE IGNITE: VETERAN WOMEN IGNITING THE SPIRIT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP Introduction to entrepreneurship available to women veterans, active-duty service women, and women military spouses/lifepartners who are just beginning to explore the opportunity of small business ownership as a post-service career path. This is a one-day training event. There is a $25 registration fee and you have to pay your way to the event.

EBV-F: ENTREPRENEURSHIP BOOTCAMP FOR VETERANS’ FAMILIES Entrepreneurship training program that integrates training with caregiver and family matters, positioning participants to launch and grow small businesses while tending to family responsibilities. This free training is for spouses or family members of a Post 9/11 veteran with a service-related disability, active duty military member, or the surviving spouse, child or parent of a military member who gave his or her life in service to our country. All expenses are paid. • Phase I: 30-day online, instructor-led business fundamentals and research course • Phase II: 9-day residential training at an EBV university in your area • Phase III: Ongoing support for small business creation and growth

“I had a kid who was always late. I worked with him. I literally went to his house at 4 o’clock in the morning to help him wake up. He had a deep-sleeping condition. We set goals together — he didn’t abide by those goals. I pulled him into my office, and I said, ‘I love you and you’re fired.’ Those are weird words to hear in business — I love you enough to fire you.” Adams believes that communication is key when learning how to love your employees — or anyone else in life. To help teach better communication among leaders, Adams created a four-quadrant box, dubbed the Radio Check. Each quadrant includes one of the following descriptions: hero, jerk, coward, manipulator. Adams explains that all communications fall into one of these categories, with the goal being to become a hero. Someone who is passive and only cares about their personal success is a manipulator. Someone who is passive and cares about your success is a coward. And, someone who doesn’t care about your success and is confrontational is a jerk. “You move all around, depending on who you’re having the conversation with,” Adams says. So, what makes a hero? Caring about someone’s success and being able to confront them. “If you care about somebody, you should also have the ability to confront them. We say, ‘my best friend can tell me anything,’ they’re our hero,” Adams says. “Do we know each other well enough that you trust my heart that when I give you criticism, it’s not because I’m a jerk, it’s because it’s for your own good?” In the end, Adams believes that if you truly love your employees, they will love you and your company back. “People will work harder and your business will grow faster if you focus on your people.” Sarah Ryther Francom is a freelance writer, focusing on Utah’s business and technology industries. She is the former editor-in-chief of Utah Business Magazine.

EBV: ENTREPRENEURSHIP BOOTCAMP FOR VETERANS WITH DISABILITIES Cutting edge entrepreneurship training program teaching the steps and stages of business creation and business management, with a tailored emphasis on the unique challenges and opportunities associated with being a veteran business owner. This free training is for Post 9/11 veterans with a service-related disability. All expenses are paid. • Phase I: 30-day online, instructor-led business fundamentals and research course work • Phase II: 9-day residency experience at one of the ten EBV consortium schools • Phase III: 12-month ongoing support for small business creation and growth


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On the Homefront



magine a scenario where a military attack on the United States by one of our enemies could simultaneously take out all known infrastructures throughout the nation.

Such a development would cause thousands of jetliners, carrying upward of 500,000 passengers, flying over the U.S. to crash, and all satellite navigation and communication systems would be knocked out. Untold damage to cars, trucks, trains and traffic control systems would gridlock roads and highways. Disabled gas stations would make it impossible for delivery of petroleum products and all kinds of fuels. The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), a complex geospatial viewing system used for management and safety control systems, would be crippled. On an even more personal level: cell phones, personal computers, the internet and the modern electronic economy would cease to operate. This type of attack is called an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, and according to Bob McAfee, a former U.S. Air Force aviator and strategic war planner who sits on the Utah Republican Party State Central Committee, it could really happen. In a Sept. 29, 2018 presentation, given by McAfee to Davis County officials, entitled “EMP Threat and Resolution by Utah GOP SCC to Harden the Grid,” he stressed that an EMP attack is America’s Achilles’ heel, and everyone around the world knows it. “It is only a matter of time before someone uses an EMP weapon against us, and at this point we are pretty much completely unprepared,” said McAfee. “A nation that does not know how to live without technology would be almost entirely stripped of it at that point.” He also noted the National and Homeland Security EMP Task Force estimates that within one year of this event, up to 9


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of 10 Americans will die through starvation, disease and societal collapse.

SO WHAT IS AN EMP? It is a short burst of electromagnetic energy and its origin may be a natural occurrence, such as a solar flare, or man-made, like a cyber attack or nuclear detonation, and it can occur as a radiated, electric or magnetic field, or a conducted electric current, depending on the source, McAfee states. A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation created by a nuclear explosion and it could produce damaging current and voltage surges. McAfee believes that a nuclear EMP threat is real and is a clear and present danger to the United States. In fact, he feels it would be a way for America’s enemies to level the battlefield by neutralizing the great technological advantage enjoyed by U.S. military forces. EMP would also be a way for rogue states or terrorists to use a single nuclear weapon to destroy the United States and prevail with a single blow. McAfee is not alone in his assessment of this threat. “The probability of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) in our lifetime is much higher than most Americans would assume,” according to Dr. Peter Pry, executive director of the EMP Task Force. Pry says there are three sources of EMP: the sun, nuclear weapons and non-nuclear weapons. “The natural concern,” he said, is “the once-in-a-hundredyear geomagnetic superstorm like the Carrington event in 1859.” A superstorm of this magnitude “would be extremely powerful — many times more powerful than the 1989 HydroQuebec storm.” m ay

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In an article published on the American Thinker, entitled “EMP: Not If, But When” by J.M. Phelps, a Christian activist and journalist based in the southeastern U.S., Phelps notes that the entire world would be affected, putting “electric grids and critical infrastructures” as well as “billions of lives” at risk. Pry believes it is inevitable that we will be struck by a Carrington-class geomagnetic storm, for “it’s not a question of if, but it’s a question of when will that happen?” In a June 10, 2018 article entitled “America’s Achilles’ Heel: An EMP Attack” by David Pyne — who currently serves as Utah director of, and congressional liaison for, the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a congressional advisory board — Pyne says the United States, during the past year, faces “a greatly increased threat from North Korea.” U.S. intelligence has confirmed that North Korea not only possesses up to 60 nuclear warheads, but it has developed the miniaturization technology required to mount them atop a number of different types of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) which it has tested over the past year. Pyne quotes Pry, who served as chief of staff to the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, as telling Congress that there is the possibility that Pyongyang has deployed the “super EMP” satellites in low earth orbit over the continental United States which, if detonated over the country without warning, could kill up to 290 million Americans within a year. Pry also estimates that Russia currently possesses at least three times more nuclear weapons than the United States. In addition, communist China recently admitted to having built 3,000 miles worth of underground tunnels where it may be concealing hundreds of mobile ICBMs with 1,600 to 1,800 nuclear warheads, according to Col. Gen. Viktor Yesin, a former commander of Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces. “Because EMP kills electronics directly, but people indirectly, EMP is regarded by Iran as a Shariah compliant use of a nuclear weapon,” McAfee states in his article. The rationale of Iranian officials, he believes, is that it “appears to be that people starve to death, not because of EMP, but because they live in materialistic societies so dependent upon modern technology that materialism and technology have been elevated to the status of a false God. People die of their sins. So, to Iran, successful deployment of an EMP against the U.S. is divine justice.”

SO WHAT IS BEING DONE TO COUNTER THESE THREATS? McAfee states that bipartisan bills with strong support such as the GRID Act and the Shield Act, were passed by the House of Representatives but stalled in the Senate. m ay

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In addition, the U.S. has 3,000 extra high voltage transformers, but these transformers are no longer being built in the United States, and it would take 18 months for U.S. suppliers to build them and then deliver to the U.S. McAfee and Pyne say their goal is to harden the U.S. electric grid by building metal structures to protect these extra high voltage transformers from EMP attacks. Since efforts to harden the electric grid at the national level have stalled, some states such as Arizona, California, Florida, Maine and Virginia have passed some kind of legislation to harden the electric grids in their states. McAfee and Pyne believe that Utah could lead out, with legislation within its state boundaries, to harden the electric grid by allocating up to $30 million. They believe it would take $2 billion of allocated monies to harden the electric grid for the entire United States. The Pentagon, the White House and the Air Force One airplane currently have hardened electric grids, Pyne said. McAfee also wants Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert to direct the Utah Department of Public Safety and/or the Utah National Guard to oversee the hardening of the electric grid to withstand an EMP attack. “Once we protect our (electric grid) core, we become less attractive to an adversary,” McAfee said. The duo continues to educate the public and work for support throughout the state. Learn more at National EMP Taskforce on the National and Homeland Security website: A native of St. George, Loren R. Webb has been a reporter in community journalism and a teacher of history and English in southern Utah and Nevada. He is an avid historian and spends his summers volunteering at Camp Floyd & Stagecoach Inn State Park in Fairfield. va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y




fo r va lo r m aga z i n e

both the European and Pacific Theaters of Operations, June 1944 marked the turning point of U.S. ground combat operations in World War II.

Of the two D-Days, the landings in Normandy are far better known. The Western Allies had hoped to conduct a cross-English-Channel invasion of France earlier, but numerous organizational and logistical constraints made an earlier amphibious assault impossible. In the interim, American, British and Commonwealth forces cleared North Africa of the Italian and German militaries, occupied Sicily, and fought partway up the Italian peninsula, liberating Rome at the same moment as the landings in France. On June 6, United States and Allied troops assaulted German-occupied coastal France; eleven months later, in May 1945, U.S. troops met the Red Army along the Elbe River and Nazi Germany ceased to exist. In the Pacific, a combined U.S. Marine and Army force attacked and secured the Mariana Islands: Saipan, Tinian and Guam, beginning with Saipan on June 15. The seizure of the Marianas enabled the Army Air Corps to build a complex of airbases capable of operating B-29s to mount a strategic bombing offensive against the Japanese home islands. However, the closer the United States came to victory over both enemies, the more costly that victory became, with 69% of all fatal U.S. combat casualties occurring in the war’s last 14 months.


Landing ships putting cargo and supplies ashore on Omaha Beach, at low tide during the first days of the operation Overlord. Among identifiable ships present are LST532 ( in the center of the view ); USS LST-262 (3 rd lst from right ); USS LST-310 (2 nd lst from right ); USS LST-533 ( partially visible at far right ); and USS LST-524. Note barrage balloons overhead and Army “half-track” convoy forming up on the beach. u . s . army signal corps

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grew up in Salt Lake City and before going into the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942, I processed through Fort Douglas and went to chemical warfare school in Colorado. From there we were sent back east and headed over to Scotland aboard the Queen Mary.

The pile of bones was humongous. That was horrendous. I didn’t even take a picture of it, that’s how bad it was. I just couldn’t believe people could be like that.

We ended up at a little place called Flixton, England, where we first got our introduction to those little butterfly bombs. The Germans would throw them out by the hundreds and they would get hung up on limbs and windowsills. If you wiggled them bombs a bit, they’d explode. They killed a lot of civilians.

The worst was Dachau. It was awful. When we got into the camp, the people flocked to the fence. They were skin and bones and in rags. The guards had hung four people and they were still hanging when we got in there. They had to have been up for at least two to three days. We counted 200 dead lying out on the ground.

D-Day was June 6, 1944. My unit, the 391st Engineers, went over June 10. We hit Utah Beach, went up the beachhead and hiked 10 miles before building camp. When we hit the fields, why, it was like a big pastureland. The hedgerows were another mile or so inland. Something stunk like crazy, smelled really bad. We had never smelled a human body rotting. It was decided that something had to be done to get that body out of there, so I WWII TALKS crawled in and tied a rope around him. As we pulled him out, his arms came off; we tried again. It was a German soldier. DON PULLMAN


When we first went in we were told the hedgerows were only four feet high. Not so. They were really eight to 10 feet, and nothing could get through them, men or vehicles. It wasn’t long before some buck sergeant figured out how to wrap up a piece of angle iron with telephone wire to the front of a tank before we were plowing right on through that mess. We stayed there for about 10 days, then we were on the move. We followed the infantry right on through to Paris. After Paris, I could probably name about 15 or 20 towns that we stopped at and cleaned out some airplane wrecks. Our job was basically whatever everybody else didn’t want to do. Being in the engineers, if there was an airplane wreck, we had to take care of it. We got into some nasty situations. I saw some things that you wish you’d never seen, but somebody had to do it. Later in the war, we went into the Buchenwald concentration camp. We couldn’t imagine anything like that. The ovens were all straight in a row … I think there were six ovens. When they’d either hang a person or shoot him, they’d just throw him on the table and burn him.


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At our last camp at the end of the war, the German people were glad to see us. They were most friendly. People from the village would come by the camp and go through the garbage cans, picking out what was good and take it home and eat it because they were pretty hungry. We didn’t know there was a concentration camp just beyond the town until after we got home. I took a lot of photos during the war. I had my dad’s camera with me and it saw a lot of use. I could buy film all over Europe and would have buddies courier film back and forth for processing. At my last camp in Kassel, Germany, my buddy Del and I were walking down a hillside and saw an old farmer handling an ox cart. I wanted a picture of that. After I took a picture and put my camera back in the case, we walked down the track a bit and I hit a land mine. It blew me one way and the camera another, ripping the strap from the case. They picked me up, placed me in that old farmer’s ox cart and carried me away. Later, the old farmer found my camera case and gave it to the Red Cross. Since my initials and serial number where written in the flap, the camera found its way back to me. I’ve still got it, minus the strap of course. It’s close to 100 years old. The war ended, and on Oct. 3, 1945, the day I turned 22, I walked up a gangplank onto a ship and got to go home. That’s the best birthday present I have had. I got home to Utah and I asked about a girl I had once dated. Her name was Ruth Olsen. She worked at the Center Theater, so I called up there. She said she got off at 10 o’clock. At 10, I was standing right out there and I saw this beautiful redhead come out. I was gone. We got married five days later. —BY DAVID CORDERO FOR VALOR m ay

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required, among other resources, 142 assault transports and cargo ships, and 3,780 landing craft, many of which were large enough to cross the Atlantic. These vessels, along with anti-submarine ships ranging from smaller “jeep” aircraft carriers to 173-foot submarine chasers, were built in brand new American shipyards. Although the U.S. Army stood in the limelight during the invasion of France, it could not have been deployed to Great Britain without the lift-capacity and convoy protection of the U.S. Navy counterattack

U.S. Army Air Forces in Britain included 3,000 heavy bombers (B-17s and B-24s) and 6,500 other combat aircraft, including medium bombers (B-25s, B-26s and A-20s) to isolate the landing beaches from German counterattacks, and fighter aircraft (P-38s, P-47s and P-51s) to establish air superiority and prevent the German Luftwaffe from interfering. This required the construction of over 110 new airfields in southern England. By the eve of the invasion, over 1.5 million U.S. troops had arrived in Great Britain, whose induction, training and organization into combat units had stretched back to mid-1942. Eventually, 68 of the 89 divisions activated by the U.S. Army during the war served in the Mediterranean and European Theaters. Twenty of these were in England by late May 1944, and three were selected to make the initial combat assault of June 6, 1944, on two beaches: the 4th Infantry Division on Utah Beach, and the 29th and 1st Infantry Divisions on the western and eastern halves of Omaha Beach. To the east were the British beaches of Gold and Juno, and the Canadian, Sword beach. The Overlord assault kicked off at 0200 hours, when the parachute infantrymen of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions jumped in to secure the inland exit corridors behind Utah and Omaha beaches. However, a combination of factors caused them to be widely dispersed, so their immediate tasks became those of getting oriented, moving towards their drop zones and killing any German troops they encountered along the way. Aerial bombing of beach defenses began at 0315, direct line-of-sight naval

USAAF A-20 light bombers strike an element of the transportation grid inland from one of the Normandy landing beachess. nara

shelling at 0550, and the first waves of infantry and supporting engineers approached their sub-beaches at 0630. The assault on Utah beach achieved better surprise, moved inland faster and suffered fewer casualties than the landings on Omaha. Company A of the 116th, 210 men strong at 0600, contained only two unwounded men at 5 p.m. While progress inland towards planned phase lines was initially much slower than had been expected, Adolph Hitler gave the Allies a critical gift, by insisting on believing that the Normandy landings were an enormous deception operation. The allied deception operation that was mounted created 19 unmanned “phantom” airborne and infantry divisions that conducted false radio traffic indicating that they were intended for a Pas-de-Calais attack in several weeks. Taken in by the allied deception, Hitler held back critical German armored units that would otherwise have immediately counter-attacked the beach lodgments. By the time he understood his error, U.S. and British/ Canadian tactical airpower had destroyed all tank-usable bridges approaching Normandy. After very intense fighting in close hedgerow terrain, the U.S. Army broke out of the Normandy lodgment on July 25. However, the costs to break out into Northern France had been severe: the final total of Army battle casualties in the Normandy Campaign, ground combat and air force units, was 63,360, of which 16,293 were fatalities.

FRIEND OR FOE? THE CRICKET CLICKER During Operation Overlord, American Paratroopers carried a signaling device known as the Cricket. The Cricket Clicker provided a distinct “click” sound when the steel backer was depressed against the brass body of the small 2 inch device. The Cricket enabled paratroopers to communicate with each other under total darkness and surrounded by enemy forces as they landed scattered and out of position on the beach. The instructions were to click once to call for an identification and respond with two clicks to signal as a friend, rather than be recognized as a foe.

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Troops in an LCVP landing craft approaching Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 6, 1944. u . s .

army signal corps


‘IF SOMEBODY GETS HURT, YOU KEEP GOING.’ by David Cordero fo r va lo r m aga z i n e


he cacophony was ear-splitting. Mortar rounds exploded, sending hot metal shards in all directions. Machine gun bullets snapped through the air and into flesh. Wounded men howled and chaos permeated the beach. Death lurked as thousands of infantrymen stumbled toward the shore, their fate uncertain.

and Sicily were followed by the liberation of Rome on June 4. But, the toughest part was still to come: a successful invasion of France would be the next step in wresting Europe from the Nazis. To push the stubborn German forces back would require a vast amount of resolve, machinery and manpower — and blood.

This was Omaha Beach, where the American fighting spirit faced its most daunting test on June 6, 1944.

Code-named Overlord, the operation involved five invasion beaches on a 50-mile stretch of France’s Normandy region. Gold Beach and Juno Beach were to be invaded by England. Canada had Sword Beach. The Americans would storm two beaches: Utah and Omaha.

Allied forces began the invasion of Normandy, France, on a cold, dreary morning, attempting to oust Adolf Hitler’s German forces and breach his vaunted Atlantic Wall. Known as D-Day, this complex operation involved the Army Air Corps, Navy and Army forces as the enemy lied in wait in the cliffs overlooking Omaha Beach. “I never did think I’d see home again during all that,” remembered Quentin Murdock more than seven decades later. Murdock, who wintered in St. George during his retirement years, was a lieutenant with the 1st Infantry Division. He was part of the second wave on Omaha Beach. “Somehow I stayed alive. It was a miracle.” This is the story of the assault of Omaha Beach as remembered by four men with Utah ties. Seventy-five years later, it is difficult to track down veterans who experienced that murderous morning. The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates there are fewer than 500,000 World War II veterans still alive. The men whose stories are recounted here are no longer with us. Their courage and sacrifices made that day — the most consequential day of the bloodiest war in human history — lives on.

THE STAGE IS SET The spring of 1944 blossomed with hope. After many setbacks, the Allies were firmly on the move. Triumphs, though painful, in North Africa


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On Omaha, there would be a heavy price to pay.

TO THE BEACH For Murdock, the prospect of the invasion did not appear overly dire. The lieutenant had proven himself in heavy combat in North Africa. In Tunisia, he was taken prisoner and held captive for nine days, and less than three months later was back in battle at Sicily. His division, nicknamed the Big Red One, seemed to get the tough assignments. Murdock, however, thought he’d catch a break this time. Following the Sicilian campaign, he was transferred to the 1st Battalion Headquarters Company of the 16th Infantry Regiment. He figured he’d join the fight after the beach was taken. He should have known better. His new unit was scheduled for the second wave. On the morning of June 6, under a gray sky and heavy seas, Murdock’s landing craft bobbed in the English Channel as men carefully descended the rope ladders into the Higgins boat. His stomach in knots, Murdock was nevertheless mesmerized by the firepower spewing from the nearby battleships. Here, he had reason for optimism. m ay

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The pre-invasion bombardment was supposed to create bomb craters to make reaching the beach exits easier. The U.S. Army had also designed the new waterproof Duplex Drive tanks that could swim to shore. The tanks, along with overpowering air and naval support, would knock out German strong points along the six-mile crescent-shaped beach. The reality was far different. The beaches were untouched. Most of the tanks sunk to the bottom of the English Channel, and overly cautious air strikes hit much farther inland than what would have been useful. The soon-to-be liberators would be facing a slaughter.

“He was shouting, ‘If you stay on the beach, you are dead, or about to die!’ He was hitting everybody on their rears to get over the hill,” Murdock recalled. “It shook us out of the daze we were in and got us going.” Small bands of Americans, typically led by junior or non-commissioned officers, scored minor breakthroughs as the morning progressed. Among them, a lieutenant in Murdock’s battalion used bangalore torpedoes to blow up the concertina wire blocking the beach exit. Heroic actions like this gave hope to the beleaguered men of Omaha Beach.


As H-Hour approached, minesweeper William Rice, an East High graduate, had orders to clear the mines away from the shallow areas near the beach prior to the invasion. His ship was expected to take 75% casualties.

Later in the afternoon, U.S. forces were firmly on French soil. The Germans were on the run — and would be for most of the next 11 months.

“The Germans were very clever with mines,” Rice recalled. “There were floating mines. There were acoustic mines that were set off by the noise of a ship going over. There were magnetic mines set off by the metal in a ship. There were pressure mines. There were snag mines.”

The toll was heavy. Of the American casualties on D-Day, approximately 2,400 were killed, wounded or missing on Omaha Beach. The soldiers fortunate enough to survive were mentally and physically exhausted, yet grateful they lived to fight again.

As Murdock’s boat approached the shore, his heart felt as if in his throat. The landing craft ground to a halt on a sand bar and the ramp creaked downward. The Idaho native jumped into water about shoulder high as the buzz of machine gun fire filled the air. “It wasn’t easy getting to shore. But once you were there, you weren’t any better off.”

Poulos had worked his way inland and linked up with his unit. He found sleep, sort of, behind a dead animal. “You had to keep one eye open and one ear open,” he recalled. “We didn’t sleep too well.”

Bodies were strewn along the beach, giving the Atlantic Ocean a reddish tinge. Pillboxes rained fire from above on the cliffs. Murdock crouched low and scrambled to a small berm resting perhaps 12 inches tall. Gripped by terror, he pondered what to do next. “I laid there for a bit, maybe 20 minutes, trying to get my mind together again,” Murdock said. “There was so much enemy fire that you couldn’t do anything. You can’t imagine the confusion. It was demoralizing.”

Murdock recalled the view from atop the bluff: hundreds of ships visible with the naked eye. With that type of firepower supporting them, how could the Americans lose? And yet with the peril they faced in the invasion’s early hours, how could they have won? “It is impossible for anyone who was not there,” Murdock later wrote, “to understand the selflessness and courage these very few men displayed to make this landing a success — despite the weather, confusion and odds against us.”

The other assault division, the 29th, included Sergeant Steve Poulos from Salt Lake City. He leaped from his landing craft into water well above his head. Others in his boat would drown, but the former lifeguard quickly used his bayonet to cut everything weighing him down. That included a machine gun, ammunition —even his shoes. Finally, he surfaced. Arriving ashore with nothing, Poulos prowled the beach trying to find replacement gear. He took a rifle and ammunition from soldiers who would no longer be needing them. “They were hammering on us from the cliffs,” Poulos recalled in 2005 during an interview for the documentary “Utah’s World War II Stories.” “Everybody was going down and they told us, ‘You’ve got no time to save anybody. If somebody gets hurt, you keep going.’”

DO OR DIE Omaha Beach was a jumbled mess. Elements of the 1st, 29th and some Army Rangers fought an enemy they could hear and feel, but not yet see. William Shanley, who spent his teenage years in Orem, was part of the 5th Engineering Amphibious Special Brigade. Attached to the 1st Infantry Division, Shanley’s unit was tasked to help remove beach obstacles such as Belgian gates, log ramps and hedgehogs. “There was nothing but bodies — and parts of bodies — all over the beach,” Shanley said. “In the first couple of waves hardly anyone made it. They just shot them down.” Meanwhile, as Murdock gathered himself, Colonel George Taylor emerged. The commander of the 16th Infantry Regiment, Taylor realized the gravity of the moment. The Americans had to get off the beach and up the steep valleys leading to the top of the cliffs.

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During the Allied invasion of the Normandy region in France, American soldiers race across a dirt road while they are under enemy fire, near St. Lo, in July 1944. ap photo David Cordero has been a professional writer for more than 15 years. He has won awards on a variety of subjects, including sports, education and military matters. Among his volunteer endeavors he edits the American Legion Post 90 newsletter. 1. Quentin Murdock: Six interviews with author between 2013 and 2018. Murdock talks about his adventures in his self-published book “Quentin C. Murdock: World War II Experiences and Memoirs.” 2. Steve Poulos and William Shanley; KUED, Utah’s World War II Stories 3. William Rice from “Voices of War: The Experiences of LDS Servicemen during the D-day Invasion.” va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y





fter the war broke out I became an aviation mechanic at Hill Field. I was up there for about six months and went home (near Magna) one weekend to see my buddies. They were all gone. They had been drafted and joined the service. I jumped in my dad’s car and went to the draft board in Murray and asked why they hadn’t called me. I was ready to go. They searched but couldn’t find my record. I would never have been called! I showed them my draft card. They told me they’d take care of that. I was to report to Fort Douglas at 8 o’clock the next morning. I joined the Navy. My dad was in the Army in France (during World War I). I didn’t want to be in the trenches like he was. I went to boot camp in Farragut, Idaho, and signal school at the University of Chicago. We were transported on an old steam engine troop train. It was a miserable ride, but there was one wonderful thing: every stop we made — there were a lot of stops because they picked up and dropped off mail throughout the country — ladies were there waiting for us with tables full of pies, cakes, sandwiches and coffee. It was a terrific boost. Those ladies were as important to us as Rosie the Riveter.



I graduated as 3rd Class Petty Officer. We were sent to Treasure Island, California, where we were assigned to be in the armed guard, then went to Camp Pendleton, near San Diego.

We took a World War I destroyer to Pearl Harbor. As soon as we got out past the breakwater, we hit a terrible storm. There were waves 50 feet high. The whole ship would just shake. We were so scared. We arrived at Pearl Harbor and were assigned to the U.S. Naval Ground Forces Pacific, GROPAC 1. We were given gas masks, a foxhole shovel and were loaded on a troop transport. We were shown how to clean a rifle, drilled on how to fix a bayonet, to advance and jab. Off we went, zig zagging across the Pacific. We went to Makin Island in late 1943. We set up our signal tower and handled the communication from the island commander to all the ships. We were bombed every night by the Japanese. The sirens would go off; that was enough to scare you. It was such a small atoll that if you dug in any deeper than a foxhole, you were in water. The purpose for that island was to get a landing strip for our planes. Soon, we started getting B-24 bombers. I was on shore one time and I could hear the radio communication going and this kid was saying, ‘How do I fly this thing?’ The pilot and co-pilot were dead, and two others in the plane were dead. They had him put the landing gear down, and shouted, ‘You are coming in too low. Give it the gas!’ There was a big stone wharf over which the plane had to fly in order to land. The plane’s landing gear hit the wall, broke off and the plane skidded in on its belly, spinning around before parking itself. Man, he was so blessed.


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We were taken back to Pearl Harbor, reorganized and became GROPAC 8. We loaded up on another troop transport, hoping the submarines didn’t get us, and pulled in for the invasion of Saipan in June 1944. On that island we were tied in with the 4th Marine Division. War is tragic. The Japanese had brainwashed the island natives to think we were cruel and would torture their women and children. So, over this monstrous cliff they threw their children to their deaths — and they jumped, ending their own lives. Tinian sat about two miles away. One day we were sitting around this crater and I said, ‘Look at that, the sand is jumping up.’ They were shelling us from Tinian! The shells were blowing up the sand. One of the guys said, ‘Hit the deck!’ and we all dove in this hole. By the time they got the range, I guess they ran out of ammunition. A few years ago, actor Gary Sinise paid for me and a companion to go all the way to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans — just the two of us. A little later, we went to Hawaii for the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Everything was first class. I had the thrill of throwing out the first pitch of a Seattle Mariners game in front of 30,000 cheering people in 2016. (Topps made a baseball card to commemorate the occasion.) And this summer, I am very excited to have a trip planned to visit Saipan and the Mariana Islands. Officials from their government invited me. To think I would get a chance to return … These types of things really spice up my life. Without that, I would be kind of bored. So many people have thanked me for my service that as soon as I see a guy who looks like a vet — usually they are veterans of the Korean War or Vietnam War — I start thanking him. They say they are just kids. I tell them I feel like a kid myself. Those interested in helping Waldron fund his trip: gofundme. com/f/saipan-island-festival-of-liberation —BY DAVID CORDERO FOR VALOR m ay

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he Southwest Pacific Area, commanded by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, whose divisions fought their way along the northern coast of New Guinea and eventually liberated the Philippines; and the Central Pacific Area, commanded by Navy Adm. Chester Nimitz, whose six Marine divisions, augmented for specific operations by five Army divisions, “island hopped” through the Gilbert, Marshall and Mariana islands, at each step establishing naval and air bases to cover the next jump west. Nine days after the landings in Normandy, the U.S. Marine V Amphibious Corps assaulted the Island of Saipan in the Marianas. Shipping shortages meant that the three major islands had to be attacked in sequential order with Tinian and Guam to follow Saipan. As had occurred on several previous islands, the Japanese fiercely resisted the initial landings, which kept the Marine landing beaches under intense mortar and artillery fire for six days, but once U.S. forces broke into the interior of the island, the Japanese were doomed to eventual defeat. The Marianas were quickly transformed into a network of aviation facilities to support the U.S. Army Air Corps XXI Bomber Command, with five bombardment wings: the 58th (Tinian), 73rd (Saipan), 313th (Tinian), 314th and 315th (Guam). These five organizations executed the urban fire-bombing campaign against Japan, and were, on the eve of the atomic bombings, preparing to shift their targets to the remaining Japanese transportation network, using a new range of electronic aids for navigation and “blind” bombing. U.S. losses on Saipan were high, with 20% of combined Marine and Army combat personnel becoming casualties. This was roughly the same levels as were suffered on Tarawa and would be suffered on Peleliu later that year. The entire Japanese garrison of 30,000 was killed. Another group, an estimated 800 Japanese civilian workers, male and female, with children, who had been relocated to the island, died by suicide: a new phenomenon in the Pacific War. Most of these deaths occurred at “Suicide Cliff,” a sheer escarpment at Northern Saipan’s Marpi Point. Fortunately, 90% of the non-Japanese civilian population of Saipan survived the fighting. On Saipan and later, Tinian, an 18-year-old Marine enlisted man, Guy Gabaldon, single-handedly talked over 1,500 Japanese soldiers and civilians into surrendering. Gabaldon, a MexicanAmerican street kid who had run away from his parents and been taken in by a Japanese-American family, stated that most American interpreters spoke a variant of formal “court Japanese,” unintelligible to Japanese peasant soldiers. Whereas, the Japanese m ay

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U.S. soldiers, bearded and weary, plod along a road toward an American Base of Operations in Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands in Feb. 1943. They have been relieved after a 21-day period of fighting the Japanese in World War II. ap photo

language he learned living with his surrogate family and running with a Los Angeles youth gang worked much better. Although current historians differ as to its significance, one consequence of the battle for Saipan was the “Saipan ratio” of one U.S. death for every seven Japanese soldiers killed, a grim metric that only became grimmer during the Marine Corps’ seizure of Iwo Jima in February 1945, where the ratio was one-to-one. Whether or not the Saipan ratio became an official planning metric, the continued fierceness of Japanese resistance posed a dark future for the high school graduating classes of 1945 and 1946, who were, at that moment, the strategic reserve of the United States military. Regardless of its disturbing moral aspects, the path to the use of “the bomb,” which ran through Saipan, was clear. John S. Reed is a member of the history faculty at University of Utah, teaching courses in U.S. political, economic, foreign relations and military history. He did not serve in Vietnam, but served for 26 years as an Army reservist with one deployment to Iraq, as a staff officer 2007-08. va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y



FOLLOW THE FLAG WHEREVER IT MAY LEAD A SURPISE MOMENT GIVES FLIGHT TO A ’POWERFUL, PALPABLE’ MOVEMENT by Brock Jones photographs by Drew Armstrong fo r va lo r m aga z i n e

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“The most life-changing moment for me has been realizing that there’s a deeper meaning behind the flag that I didn’t know. It’s powerful, palpable, and you can’t deny it when you’re around this thing flying in the canyon, the way it touches people. That’s been the biggest thing for me.”


—Kyle Fox, founder of Follow the Flag

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yle Fox stood in the vast convention hall admiring the second massive U.S. flag his nonprofit organization, Follow the Flag, has had a hand in creating. Measuring 78 feet wide by 150 feet long, it is an exact replica of the flag his organization has come to be known for since unfurling it above Pleasant Grove for the first time in 2017. On April 16, 2019, a team of Colonial Flag employees — the company that created both massive flags — busied themselves on the new flag, sweeping fibers and strings off huge red and white stripes and cutting and hemming the flag’s end before the crowd arrived at the Mountain America Expo Center in Sandy, Utah, to celebrate the new flag. Four years ago, Fox spearheaded the flying of a smaller U.S. flag over Grove Creek Canyon, at the base of Mount Timpanogos in Pleasant Grove, Utah, thus beginning the movement for which he has come to be known. The idea for that first Independence Day surprise above his hometown was less the product of a patriotic impulse, or devotion to country, than the simple desire to surprise his friends and family. “It wasn’t that I was super patriotic, or that I have all this military background in my family’s heritage,” Fox said. “I do love my country, don’t get me wrong, but it was more that I wanted to do something to make people go ‘Wow!’’’ he said. “I want to surprise people.”

Fox has long enjoyed wowing people and admits that he’s the kind of person who adheres to the adage of “go big or go home.” He said his desire to fly that first flag grew out of that motto, and a general love for spectacle. For the past 10 years, Fox has been intimately involved in Hee Haw Farms’ annual fall pumpkin drop, in which huge pumpkins are dropped more than 100 feet onto various targets. “You know, it all might have snowballed from all the activities I had going on involving giant pumpkins,” Fox said. “We started dropping giant pumpkins and smashing cars, and I crossed paths with Ron Nix, who’s a stunt coordinator. So the idea just kind of hit me that I had the resources to pull something [like flying the flag] off.” Nix is the man behind all the complex rigging setups that have allowed Fox and his team to hang that first flag, and every other flag since.

LEARNING TO FLY Although it may have started as an impressive challenge to tackle, Fox said that he and everyone involved learned quickly that there was much more to the act of flying the U.S. flag in Grove Creek Canyon than just a surprising stunt. “It became a connection for people who have lost loved ones, a way of healing and kindling patriotism and changing lives in a big way,” Fox said.

Follow the Flag commissioned the creation of the largest free flying U.S. flag in the world: 78 feet wide by 150 feet long, 11,800 square feet. Each star measures about 55 inches and each stripe is nearly 6 feet wide. The flag weighs over 400 pounds. “Big Besty” flying in Grove Creek Canyon overlooking Pleasant Grove. On display at Sundance Resort. photos courtesy of drewarmstrong . com m ay

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That first Independence Day display quickly snowballed into an impressive and unforeseen movement anchored by the non-profit organization, Follow the Flag, which has enjoyed a wave of growth since its humble beginnings. Since that 4th of July in 2015, the Follow the Flag team has flown a flag over Grove Creek every year for the national day of freedom.

North Ogden in honor of Taylor and his family, and as a way to inspire service, the community was so moved that they collectively decided to raise money for a flag of their own. Follow the Flag and North Ogden joined forces, raising money together for the flag through every means available to them, including Fox’s nonprofit organization and its ever-growing social media following.

In 2017, two years after their first time, Fox and Nix decided to take their patriotic spectacle to the next level.

“The city of North Ogden achieved in months what it had taken us years to achieve,” said Fox, referencing the collection of enough money to commission the second large flag. Through the collective efforts of the community and the nonprofit, Coldwater Canyon will annually be home to its own massive flag, aptly named “The Major” during the week of Veterans Day in honor of Taylor, and as a source of inspiration to the community. With double the team and double the resources following Healing Flight 1, Fox said that the future of the movement has never been brighter. “There will be a Healing Flight 2 in some community, somewhere, through our collective efforts, both our teams pulling it off together,” Fox said.

“We kind of whispered about the idea of doing something bigger,” Fox said. “And Ron Nix ran with that idea.” Continuing with the go-big attitude that had driven them this far, Follow the Flag commissioned the creation of the largest free-flying U.S. flag in the world. The predecessor to the new flag being unveiled in April 2019, it measured in at 78 feet wide by 150 feet long and covered 11,800 square feet. Each star measured about 55 inches and each stripe was nearly 6 feet wide. The flag weighed in at over 400 pounds. After having hung the smaller flag for two years, free flying the huge flag known as “Big Betsy” in 2017 became a Herculean feat. More than 70 people helped carry it up the trail to the rigging site. The rigging Nix created specifically for the feat was extremely complicated, one of the most difficult he had ever done. The plan was to hoist the flag while it was still rolled and then unfurl it via a complicated system of carabiners and ropes. Volunteers helped get the flag hung between the two sides of the canyon, and with the sun going down on July 3, the team realized that the rigging, designed to allow the flag to come unfurled, was stuck; the flag would not unfurl and it wasn’t clear why. Fox, Nix and their team worked through the night — even offering a prayer or two — trying to get it unstuck so the thousands of community members expected to attend the morning ceremony would not be disappointed. When the flag unfurled the next morning, one foot at a time, the effect was breathtaking in the morning sunlight, according to those in attendance at the dawn ceremony. Since that day in 2017, the massive flag has flown every year on Independence Day over Grove Creek. It has also been used in numerous parades, rodeos and other sporting events and celebrations. Most recently, it was flown over Coldwater Canyon above North Ogden in honor of Mayor Brent Taylor, a major in the Utah National Guard killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan on Nov. 3, 2018.

GROWING THE MESSAGE Fox said when the call came in to request that Follow the Flag fly the big flag in Coldwater Canyon, he didn’t even wait for the person on the other end of the line to finish their sentence. “I stopped them mid-sentence to tell them ‘Yes!’” said Fox. “So, 72 hours later, we had the flag rigged and flying up there in Coldwater Canyon for Brent Taylor.” This event has been dubbed “Healing Flight 1” by Fox and others. It was this event, Healing Flight 1 in Coldwater Canyon, that brought about the second large flag. After the flag flew above 26

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Follow the Flag will continue to fly their original flag above Pleasant Grove for Independence Day, which has been well-loved and well-worked in its short lifetime, according to Fox. “People love to see those war wounds on the flag. I know exactly where they all came from, too,” said Fox. “They all have a story behind them. And that’s what we’re actually trying to build in people: stories where they’re standing next to each other, sharing a moment, creating the threads to make memories via the flag.”

SHARING THE EXPERIENCE Standing over the newest flag in the expo center, Fox said he’s anxious and excited to see where else the movement will take the organization, also expressing gratitude for how far it’s come. Fox said that anybody who wants to be a part of Follow the Flag can volunteer by contacting the organization via the Follow the Flag Facebook and Instagram pages, or via the organization’s website, Volunteers can also find opportunities via the Follow the Flag North Ogden Facebook page. “We have all sorts of service available. There are 12 Eagle Scouts that have projects involved (with Follow the Flag) this year in Pleasant Grove, tons of activities for community members to be involved. We’re happy to have people come be a part of this.” It would be difficult to say whether Kyle Fox foresaw where his simple act of hanging a flag above his hometown four years ago would take him. But, as he stood there in the expo center looking over the huge symbol of national sacrifice and patriotism, the smile on his face and the perceptible excitement of those in attendance provided clues to the kind of hope the movement has engendered here in Utah and across the nation, as they simply keep following wherever the flag leads. Brock Jones is an assistant professor of English at Utah Valley University. He has served in the U.S. Army and the Utah National Guard for more than 16 years. m ay

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Follow the Flag Founder Kyle Fox believes that “Big Besty” has become a connection for people who have lost loved ones, a way of healing and kindling patriotism and changing lives in a big way. Follow the Flag takes the flag to many community events such as the Days of ’47 Parade in downtown Salt Lake City and at sporting events throughout the Intermountain West. images courtesy of drew armstrong . com

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t was a different time. A time when the country was united — in common goals, against a common enemy, and in a shared patriotism that put love of country above all else. A time when GI’s gathered at local dance halls to let loose, hear some big band music and Lindy Hop with a beautiful woman. Perhaps it’s a sense of nostalgia, brought on by the 75th anniversary of both D-Day and the final year of World War II, that’s driving the trend, but a whole new generation is Lindy Hopping to the big band music made popular in the 1940s. And, with upcoming dances scheduled in airport hangars across the state, they’re doing big band, big-style. Susa Lindsey has been swing dancing since high school in the late ’90s and, for her, swing dancing is not a new trend, it’s a part of life. She attends dances on a weekly basis and even performs at local hangar dances with the Salt Licks Swing Troupe. “The hangar dances are so fun,” says Lindsey. “There are a lot of guys and gals dressed in vintage clothes, with their hair done in the ’40s style.” Linsdey says the hangar dances, which are usually held in conjunction with an air or car show, are getting more and more popular. Volunteer, Beth Ann Schneider, who coordinates the shows for the Commemorative Air Force-Utah Wing in Heber, echoes that sentiment. She says the swing dances, which are part of larger events, have grown exponentially over the years and people really look forward to them. But, she says it’s not just a party. “We do this to honor the veterans.” Schneider says the Danny Newell Tribute band has been playing for their hangar dances for the past seven years now. A couple of the band members performed with the USO during wartime. James Humpherys performs with the band — dancing, singing and playing music. He grew up listening to his


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grandparents’ stories about big band music and swing dancing. For many of World War II generation, town-hall dances were some of the last things shared before shipping out to distant and war-torn lands. Hangar dances recreate that atmosphere. The intent of these nights is to share the iconic culture. Humphreys explains that veterans, and those of the 1940s, are given front row seats to the live show. “There’s a discernible change in energy as these same people who could hardly walk, not only stand, but begin to dance as if it were 1944 again.” Humpherys wishes for that energy to transcend time. “Hopefully, dancing with such fervor and dressing in vintage clothing gives younger generations a chance to make personal and emotional connections with those who sacrificed so much,” he says. Our parents and grandparents tell us the stories, not in textbook facts, but in what they remembered and how they felt, and that’s how my generation makes a personal connection with the war. They’ll relay to us the music, the celebrities, movies and pastimes of their day. One of the things Lindsey loves most about the dances is talking to the veterans who actually served during that time. She says they are often surprised to find that the younger generation likes the big band music of their youth. “They just get a kick out of us dancing, especially some of the younger dancers,” says Lindsey. “There are some 18- and 19-year-olds that are doing it now.” At 25, Miriam Barse has already been swing dancing for close to 10 years, having started during her sophomore year in high school. For Barse, swing dancing is a fun way to break the ice and meet new people. m ay

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05/18 REMEMBERING 1944: D-DAY 7th Annual 1940s Hangar Dance. Join us in a timeless piece of history and enjoy Southern Utah Rebel Jazz Band playing hits from Glenn Miller, Andrews Sisters, Les Goodman and more. 6 p.m. Doors open, 6:307 p.m. Complimentary Dance Lessons, 7-10 p.m. Dance. $20, 12 and up. PLUS: Wings and Wheels Show, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum, 4196 S. Airport Parkway, St. George.

06/08 DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY 7th Annual 1940s Hangar Dance. Come in your vintage dress (not required, but highly encouraged), and dance the night away to 1940s hits with the Danny Newell Band. 6-10 p.m. Dance instruction at 6 p.m. $15 individual, $25 couple. PLUS: D-Day Remembrance, June 6. Commemorative Air ForceUtah Wing, Russ McDonald Air Field, 1980 Airport Rd. Hangar 38-D, Heber.

06/28 CACHE AIRFEST HANGAR HOP A 1940s-era Big Band Swing Dance with live music from the Cache Community Band dancing under a 60-foot parachute. 5-8 p.m. $20 person. PLUS: Cache Airfest Airshow and Openhouse, Saturday. Cache Valley Aviation Association, USU Flight Program Hangar, Logan-Cache Airport, 2500 N. 900 West, Logan.

08/03 WWII VICTORY DANCE photos courtesy of commemoriative air force


utah wing

“I can be awkward and really bad at small talk, but after you dance with someone, you’re usually comfortable right away,” says Barse. Like so many GI’s back in the day, Barse found her true love on the dance floor. She met her husband, a swing dance instructor, when he taught her the Lindy Hop. But, you don’t need a partner to join in the fun. According to Lindsey, Lindy Hopper’s dance with everybody and both women and men are free to ask a partner to dance. For those who are interested in learning to Lindy Hop, Lindsey has this advice, “Find out where they’re doing lessons and go have fun.” Kristy Kuhn is a native Utah writer with more than 10 years of experience writing feature articles for magazines and newspapers. She currently works at Utah Media Group where she writes copy and serves as the marketing content project coordinator. m ay

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4th Annual 1940s Hangar Dance. Celebrate WWII in style with live big band music of Benny Goodman, Bill Haley and Elvis Presley and more. 6-10 p.m. Dance instruction at 6 p.m. $15 individual, $25 couple. PLUS: Planes and Horsepower Car Show, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Commemorative Air Force-Utah Wing, Russ McDonald Air Field, 1980 Airport Rd. Hangar 38-D, Heber.

09/28 HISTORIC WENDOVER AIR SHOW Enjoy a day of aviation and military history with displays of modern and vintage aircraft, military displays, vintage vehicles, tours and re-enactments with living historians. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. gates open, noon to 3 p.m. airshow. $0-$30. PLUS: WWII Pilot Training Camp, Sept. 22-27, RSVP. Wendover Airport, 345 S. Airport Apron, Wendover. va l o r : a s a l u t e t o u ta h ’ s v e t e r a n s a n d m i l i ta r y



ADVENTURE Join Utah State Parks in honoring the men and women who have served in the U.S. Military on our Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, August 10, 2019. Learn about our Veterans with Disabilities Honor Pass at


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