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Dugway Proving Ground Celebrates 75 Years


JULY 2017




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 In addition, our staff of trained professionals stands ready to assist you in many other ways, such as: • Outreach Activities Help with VA Pension, and Aid & Attendance claims • Job Fairs Getting you employed, skills workshops, etc. • Benefit Information Programs Health and education eligibility, state benefits, etc. • VSOs (Veteran Service Officers) that travel the state Assistance in filing claims and receiving benefits • The Homeless Veterans Stand-Down Providing food, shelter, and clothing Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs 550 Foothill Drive, Suite 150 Salt Lake City, Utah 84113 Phone: 801-326-2372 Email: veterans@utah.gov www.veterans.utah.gov



We’re grateful and support all our veterans and active military personnel. Thank you for your sacrifice and service.

FOR A CLEANER & HEALTHIER HOME™ 1-800-STEEMER | stanleysteemer.com ®

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SPLORE is the only adaptive rafting company in Utah and over the years, operations expanded to Salt Lake and the Wasatch Front to include outdoor climbing, stand up paddleboarding, overnight climbing and camping trips. The program department has worked extensively to create adaptive climbing systems that will work for each individual—this includes individuals with amputations, or those who may be in wheelchairs. Yes, we take people in wheelchairs down Westwater Canyon on several-day trips in the backcountry on the river or climbing on the crags. If an individual meets our essential eligibility criteria and has a desire to get outside on an adventure our team is passionate and committed to making it happen. Splore hopes to offer the veteran community a chance to unplug, to reset, to seek that adrenaline rush, take a healthy risk, or just recreate together among friends in a healthy, positive and safe environment. courtesy photo from splore


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CONTENTS WWII Navajo Code Talkers


Dugway Proving Ground Turns 75


Healing the Warrior Series: Part 3

PEACE OF MIND pages 28-37 DEPARTMENTS The Briefing / 4-5

Doing Business / 6-7 Integrity First Lending and West Valley City Corp. Community Relations / 8-10 A Chat with Paul Swenson of Colonial Flag

WWW.UTAHVALOR.COM UTAH MEDIA GROUP / 4770 South 5600 West, West Valley City UT 84118 utahmediagroup.com To subscribe: 801-204-6100 / To advertise: 801-204-6300 PROJECT TEAM / Brent Low, Publisher / Megan Donio, Publications Manager Michelle Bridges, Project Manager and Editor / Tyler Pratt, 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 ©J uly 2017. 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.

on the cover :

DUGWAY PROVING GROUND. 2016. Dugway's 800,000 acres of high desert greatly resemble the geography of Afghanistan, making it ideal for conventional training with armored vehicles, artillery and aircraft. Dugway abuts the Air Force's 1.4 million-acre Utah Test and Training Range, where missiles, aircraft and munitions are tested, or crews practice, in realistic conditions.

dpg photo / al vogel

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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 .

Utah Honor Flight achievement of 1,000 veterans honored


rom the lush, green Cache Valley to the red rocks of St. George and everywhere in between, Utah Honor Flight (UHF) has, for nearly four years, taken veterans of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to Washington D.C., to see their memorials. To date, the program has honored 1,114 veterans. “To hit the milestone of taking our 1,000th veteran to Washington D.C. is a huge deal and speaks volumes about the support we have received from the community,” said UHF Chairman Mike Turner. “What sticks in my mind about our first trip was just how much those veterans appreciated it. Since then we have dedicated ourselves to perpetuating our mission of taking as many veterans as possible to see their memorials.” Utah Honor Flight is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that takes veterans to Washington D.C. to see their memorials at no charge to the veteran. The three-day trip includes a lengthy stop at the National Mall, where the veterans participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the National World War II Memorial, followed by stops at the Korean War Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. There are excursions to visit other sites of interest, including the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, the Air Force Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. “These flights are how, in a small way, we can show our gratitude,” Turner said. “We need to honor them while we still can.”


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Korean War veteran Frank Cravens and his son Mike read through a packet of letters that are part of a surprise “mail call.” Trip organizers make arrangement for letters from family and community members expressing their gratitude and thanks to veterans for their service and sacrifice. uhf photos

The expenses for the veterans are funded solely through donations from individuals and companies. Those interested in contributing to Utah Honor Flight can send donations to Utah Honor Flight, P.O. Box 42, Richfield, UT 84701 or call 435-272-0254. For more information go to utahhonorflight.org or find Utah Honor Flight on Facebook: facebook.com/ utahhonorflight. —cordero for valor j u ly

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LANDMARK DOCUMENTARY ‘THE VIETNAM WAR’ BY KEN BURNS AND LYNN NOVICK SET TO PREMIERE SEPT. 17 ON PBS “The Vietnam War,” a 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, will premiere Sept. 17 on PBS stations nationwide, including KUED and KBYU in Utah. In an immersive narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War in a way that has yet to be presented on film. The documentary series features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. “The Vietnam War was a decade of agony that took the lives of more than 58,000 Americans,” said Burns, known for his penetrating documentaries on subjects such as the American Civil War, baseball, jazz and World War II. “More than 40 years after it ended, we can’t forget Vietnam, and we are still arguing about why it went wrong, who was to blame and whether it was all worth it.”

TEAD is gearing up to celebrate its founding with employees, retirees and local communities with displays, activities, tours and entertainment. Tooele. Evening hours, Thursday. facebook.com/ TooeleArmyDepot

RIDE TO ZERO MOTORCYCLE RIDE National Center for Veterans Studies’ ride for veterans suicide awareness. $25 includes lunch, ride and concert. Travel from Legends Motorcycle Emporium, Springville, to Leatherheads Sports Bar & Grill, Draper, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. ridetozero.com/eventdetails

09/09 HOMELESS VETERANS STAND DOWN AND RECOVERY DAY CELEBRATION VIETNAM. Feb. 1968. U.S. Marines in a housing area near the Citadel in Hue, attack with the support of tanks during the Tet Offensive. ap photo / art greenspon


The first five episodes will air nightly at 7 p.m. from Sunday, Sept. 17, through Thursday, Sept. 21, and the final five episodes will air nightly from Sept. 24, through Sept. 28. The episodes will repeat following the first airing each evening. For more details on the program, visit online: pbs.org/kenburns/the-vietnamwar/home. —cordero for valor

TELEHEALTH HUB REACHING MORE VETERANS Did you know that VASLC clinicians on our campus are talking to veterans as far away as Florida? New Tele-Mental Health Hub services veterans in nine different states and helps on average about 150 veterans per month. Director Alethea Varra says some of their veterans live in highly rural areas and may not otherwise be able to access care as quickly. SLC is one of four pilot sites in the nation and VASLC is just getting started. More offices and more providers are on the way here and elsewhere. Telemedicine is much like a virtual medical appointment; a provider makes a connection with a veteran via computer screen. Therapies include: evidence-based treatment for PTSD, addiction, pain management, indepth medication management, specialized assessments, even couples therapy. —veterans voice, udvma 2 0 17



Ten years in the making, the series An outreach campaign about the brings the war and the chaotic series will ensue throughout the state, epoch it encompassed viscerally to including screenings in: life. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, n West Jordan—Aug. 10 produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick n St. George—Sept. 6 and Burns, it includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage n Gunnison—Sept. 14 from sources around the globe, For details visit, kued.org/events photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, and revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.

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In one place, community providers like housing, legal advice, educational, vocational rehab and medical services for those that qualify. Gallivan Center, 239 Main Street, downtown SLC, 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. veterans.utah.gov/calendars

09/16 UTAH NATIONAL GUARD GOV’S DAY Spectators welcome as Gov. Herbert reviews nearly 7,000 troops in a pass-and-review ceremony. Other events: canon salute, music, classic car show and military equipment displays. Military Ball, 6 to 11 p.m. Camp Williams, 17800 S. Redwood Rd., Bluffdale, 10 a.m. Saturday. facebook.com/utahnationalguard/

10/21 DUGWAY ANNUAL TRAIL RUN 5K to 50K trail run mostly single track over sagebrush flats to rocky ridges. Only time heavily secured Army post allows unsponsored, public entry. Fee. Community Center, Dugway, 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. dugway.armymwr.com

10/28 FORT DOUGLAS CEMETERY TOUR Re-enactors tell real-life stories of former citizens and how they came to such a captivating place. All ages. Free. Fort Douglas Post Cemetery, 431 S. Chipeta Way, SLC, 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. fortdouglas.org/events FOLLOW US at facebook.com/ utahvalormag or online at utahvalor.com 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.




v e t e r a n - f r i e n d ly s m a l l c o m pa n y

or many veterans, buying a home can be very complicated. However, “subject matter expert” on VA mortgage loans, Dave Kent, a partner at Integrity First Lending (IFL), goes above and beyond helping veterans both through his work as well as his community involvement. Although Kent has not had the honor of serving his country, he is a devoted advocate for veterans and their families. Kent has been in the mortgage loan business for nearly 15 years and constantly strives to support the veteran community. He has shaped IFL with the help of owner and mentor, Josh Stika, to be a company that goes above and beyond to support its clients. Three years ago, Integrity First Lending took the lead in accompanying its services with extra programs to support and honor veterans. The Local Heroes program was created by Integrity First Lending and gives family members and friends the opportunity to nominate their local hero. For the selected hero, IFL will award the winner by paying off their next month’s mortgage payment or rent up to $2,000.

The newest program rolled out by Integrity First Lending offers incentives to any veteran that fills out an application for a VA loan. Even if they do not sign up for a loan, $100 is donated by Integrity First Lending to a nonprofit veteran organization of their choice. Kent anticipates that this program will have the biggest positive impact on the veteran community.

Integrity First Lending 1258 W. South Jordan Pkwy, #102 South Jordan, UT 84905 801-542-0961 integritylending.com

Kent is also a member of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). Kent is such a major proponent of veterans that he is the only civilian on the board and has actively participated in raising money for multiple veteran events ranging from Army Ball to installing flag poles in veterans’ yards to honor their commitment to our country. Marissa Glowacz currently works in digital marketing as a social media content coordinator at Utah Media Group, the advertising agency for the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News. She recently graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in strategic communication.


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Integrity First Lending mortgage expert, Dave Kent believes that you don't have to have served in the military to give back and make a huge impact on someone's life. courtesy photos from dave kent family

HOW TO GET INVOLVED WITH YOUR VETERAN COMMUNITY n Reach out to a friend or family member who is a veteran n Ask which programs are most beneficial for veterans n Find a nonprofit that is looking to spread awareness n Join a veteran organization that will make you feel fulfilled and give purpose to your life

—by Dave Kent, partner at Integrity First Lending

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WEST VALLEY CITY. July 2016. The Wall That Heals, a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. was part of the city's Fourth of July celebration at Centennial Park. courtesy photo from wvc

WEST VALLEY CITY 'UNITY • PRIDE • PROGRESS' by Michelle Bridges v e t e r a n - f r i e n d ly c o m m u n i t y

West Valley City is a comfortable place to live says Mayor Ron E. Bigelow. “Unique. It’s a little bit of everything—we have ‘real’ people. By my definition, I mean it’s a traditional American city where you can live and interact with your neighbors. And we’re affordable,” the mayor said. “I grew up here. I’ve lived here just shy of 40 years and we enjoy this community.” This past spring Assistant Recreation Director Nancy Day and Police Officer Robert Brinton, also a part-time air force reservist for the 419th stationed at Hill, worked with the Employer Support for Guard and Reserves organization to highlight what WVC does to go “above and beyond” for its veterans and activemilitary that make up part of the city’s workforce and community at large. The city reached the top tier of employers—top 30 of more than 3,000 nominations nationwide. “We wanted to present the best side of what the city has done and continues doing,” said Day. West Valley City has a long heritage of supporting the community’s veterans and military. The mayor explains “it was established long before I got here but I’ve added some things.” Day quickly points out the mayor has been responsible for or helped significantly with many of the best practices the city has in place j u ly

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to help with deployments, military training, earning deficiencies and sending care package to those overseas. One of the ways the mayor has come up with to honor those veterans is a Memorial Hall. “It started somewhere with our WWII heroes, but now we will honor all of Utah’s 300-plus war casualties from all conflicts,” said Bigelow. The city as offered to lease a 3.4-acre parcel of land at the Stonebridge Golf Course to the project. And many other businesses have committed funds and support, including the state legislature. Each May the mayor holds his Mayor’s Veterans Memorial Golf Tournament to raise funds for the project. “Last summer with the city’s help,” said Day, “We were able to bring the Traveling Wall that Heals to our Centennial Park. It was quite a healing process for a lot of people, even more so than what I had anticipated it might be initially.”

GETTING YOUR CITY BEHIND YOUR VETERAN / MILITARY COMMUNITY “Any organization can talk about being involved with veterans, but you know it’s a conscious decision when an organizations steps up and says “we’re going to support the guard, the reserves or veterans and makes a solid effort to do so. And that’s what our city has decided to do. We’ve made that decision and it’s reflected in a number of things that we make happen here.” —by Mayor Ron C. Bigelow, West Valley City

Police Officer Brinton worked security for the Wall. “It was amazing to see,” he said. “Hosting such an event says something for our city and community and I like being part of that.” Michelle Bridges is project manager for VALOR. She enjoys connecting people, sharing stories, crafting magazines and making newspapers look good.

West Valley City 3600 S. Constitution Blvd. West Valley City, UT 84119 801-966-3600, wvc-ut.gov

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Community Relations M a n y s e r v i c e m e n a n d w o m e n o n t h e f r o n t l i n e m a k e s a c r i f i c e s to d e f e n d o u r h o m e s a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . I t i s i m po r ta n t f o r t h e m to k n o w t h a t o n t h e h o m e f r o n t t h a t w e a r e “a l l i n t h i s to ge t h e r. ” VA LO R s h i n e s t h e s po t l i g h t o n i n d iv i d u a l s w h o w o rk t i r el e s s l y to s h o w o u r s u p po r t a n d ap p r e c i a t i o n .

LOVE FOR FLAG, LOVE FOR COUNTRY A C H AT W I T H PAU L SW E N S O N by Jennifer Weaver fo r va lo r m aga z i n e


s a young boy, Paul Swenson couldn’t contain his excitement to add crape paper to his bike and streamers to his handle bars to ride in the neighborhood parade in East Millcreek more than half century ago. His enthusiasm soon changed to a feeling in his heart that he never forgot during a holiday celebration that even now upon reflection brings an instant gleam to his eyes.

“There’s a connection between heaven and earth, and finding that connection makes everything meaningful, including death,” Swenson said, summarizing his favorite quote. “Missing it makes everything meaningless, including life. So, when people experience the true meaning of the flag they are connecting to something bigger than themselves and that gives them meaning, and gives them healing.”

“I remember being in that flag ceremony as a little kid at the East Millcreek Library and the National Anthem was performed and I got a lump in my throat,” said Swenson. “The spectacle of the flag flying touched me back then and I thought everybody felt that way. I guess quite a few people did, but I think that is where my love for the flag started. I’ve always loved the flag.”

To say Swenson is sentimental about the American flag is putting it mildly. As a young student in a study abroad program to Jerusalem, Swenson placed a small stick with an 8-inch by 12-inch cotton replica of Old Glory attached to it in his suitcase and crossed the Allenby Bridge from Jordan into Israel on the day captives were released in the Iran hostage crisis. That same flag went with him to Portugal where he served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was his connection to America, to his home, he said.

Swenson didn’t know as a child just how significant pieces of fabric woven together with a distinctive design specifically for symbolic purposes would be to him. As an adult, flags are now the means of providing others with peace and comfort with a vision of healing as each flag is sold and unfurled from his business, Colonial Flag. The Sandy store was once a family business venture run from the home garage of his brother, David. After 37 years, Colonial Flag is now headquartered prominently off I-15 at 9300 South in a 36,000-square-foot facility, and one of the world’s most esteemed flag designers and retailers with more than 760 businesses servicing 900 flag poles in the state of Utah alone. While that feat itself is worthy of praise, Swenson gives all the credit to his family, staff and customers, and simply wants to share his love of flags with anyone and everyone. 8

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Swenson kept that stick flag with him as a graduate from the University of Utah, and took it with him as he completed his graduate studies in international business at University of South Carolina. His first job out of college was with the U.S. Department of Treasury in Saudi Arabia to help that country build its infrastructure. It didn’t matter if Swenson’s job took him to Egypt, Portugal or Israel, his stick flag was his constant companion. Even now, that little stick flag, though yellowed with age, is sacred to Swenson and is preserved in a special box. Swenson is the first to tell you that it’s not necessarily that stick flag that he treasures so much as the experiences and the emotions he has felt with it while in his possession. He j u ly

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Paul Swenson, owner of Colonial Flag and founder of the Healing Fields and Field of Honor programs, has a deep respect for the American flag. "When people experience the true meaning of the flag they are connecting to something bigger than themselves and gives them meaning, and gives them healing," he says. courtesy photo from colonial flag / perry van schelt

recounted a moment in time as he watched four servicemen line up to use the telephone to call their loved ones. Such moments are not fleeting to Swenson who has several imprinted in his mind that have given him purpose, gratitude and a strong desire to serve others. His devotion to the military also derived from an observation. Right after the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, Swenson recalled the Middle East being on high alert for terrorist attacks. After traveling through the main avenue, navigating the zig-zag of concrete barricades toward the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia, Swenson witnessed a Marine fulfilling his duty standing guard. “From about 10 at night until five in the morning, it was just me and that Marine guard on duty, and he was just standing there all night long with a shot gun under the counter, staring out,” Swenson said. “He was on duty, focused all night long and there was no one around. I’ll never forget that.” Swenson returned to the states in 1987 and began working with his brother at Colonial Flag. He bought his brother out in 1989, and has owned the business solely since then. Colonial Flag was one of the first websites on the Internet in the early ’90s, Swenson said. Other significant milestones include crafting 200-foot flag poles, customizing flags for the Olympics and fashioning the largest Gay Pride flag in Seattle at more than 800 square feet. j u ly

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But what Swenson says really is “miraculous” about being a business owner of flags is when his love for the American flag, appreciation for the military and tribute to innocent lives lost merged in a vision he had after reading a tiny article in USA Today. The story numbered the dead from the 9/11 attacks nearly one year earlier, Sept. 11, 2001. It was a date ingrained in his mind as he read that article while ironically on a plane returning from a business trip on Sept. 5, 2002. “I had this crazy vision of putting up a flag in honor of every person who got killed in the terrorist attacks,” Swenson said. He shared his vision with a few people at a Sandy Rotary meeting he’d been invited to attend where 9/11 survivor, Matt Hufford, was speaking. After a few locations were discussed, Swenson drove to the area between Sandy City Hall and South Towne Mall and knew it was the area for a flag tribute. After speaking with Sandy City officials, Mayor Tom Dolan approved the project. Swenson took the advice of an employee and mapped out a grid to place America flags on 8-foot poles in rows and columns to represent the people who lost their lives in what today is referred to as 9/11. In less than six days, the project was pitched, approved and implemented. And within three hours, 6 to 9 p.m., with the help of 300 volunteers, 3,031 flags were placed on the Sandy City lawn the night before the first anniversary of 9/11. 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


“I came back on my motorcycle about three in the morning because I was a little bit worried about people stealing (the flags), and there was a gal walking through the field, and she would walk toward a flag and hold it, then walk to the next flag and hold it. I could tell she knew what the display meant and what it was for,” Swenson said. “Then I knew it is was going to be different than I thought, and it wasn’t just a physical demonstration of the magnitude of the loss of life, it was going to be a healing experience for people.” That lone event 15 years ago evolved into a national call for fields of flags to honor the fallen and pay tribute to veterans, active military, law enforcement and fire fighters. Swenson answered that call by founding the Healing Field® and Field of Honor® programs administered by the nonprofit Colonial Flag Foundation that Swenson founded in 2003. Hundreds of flag displays have been orchestrated throughout the country with

assistance from the Foundation, with hundreds more to come, Swenson said. “It’s a tradition now,” Swenson said. “I will never retire. If you look at the flag, the whole symbolism of that canton is unity … If you take a flag, it could have 240 million stitches in it. And if you think that every single stitch represented one of us, then we are all a part of the fabric of the nation.” Swenson is an Army Reserve Ambassador and volunteers with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, and continues to espouse his patriotism through service to his community with flag displays, sales and donations. More information is available at healingfield.org. Jennifer Weaver is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer from Orem. She is the mother of three children and daughter of Vietnam KIA Sgt. 1st Class James C. Jensen, D Co, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cav Division.




n the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Paul Swenson surveyed the completion of the Sandy City Healing Field and had a thought: What if the city chose not to carry on the flag display that pays homage to the people who died in the terrorist attacks after the 10th anniversary? He decided right then and there that he wanted something permanent. He called his friend, Stan Watts, who is a sculptor. Watts had prior consent to sculpt a replica of the photo taken by Thomas E. Franklin and published in The Record, a New Jersey paper, in the aftermath of the attacks. The photo shows three firemen who spontaneously raised the American flag amid the wreckage of the crumbled twin towers after terrorists crashed two commercial jets into the buildings on Sept. 11, 2001. Watts agreed to sculpt the depiction with 9-foot, 800-pound bronze statues of the men raising the American flag. Swenson set-out to raise the funds necessary to unveil the monument at the 10th anniversary. Sandy City had a concrete pad at a roundabout already laid that determined the location for the monument and was perfectly adjacent to the lawn where more than 3,000 flags were placed each year to honor the 9/11 victims. “It wasn’t just about the fireman,” Swenson said. “The day after the terrorist attacks, the first positive image that came out was that photograph of those guys putting the flag up. We’d just had the carpet pulled out from underneath us and these guys put a flag up as if to say, we’re going to survive this. It was like hope rising up out of the ashes.” The monument—Hope Rising: To Lift A Nation—came to fruition from generous donations of local business, individuals and Sandy City. It stands today as the permanent reminder of a day we should never forget, but most importantly is a symbol of "the hope we all felt on a day we lost innocent American citizens … yet stood together." —weaver for valor


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Located at the Sandy City Commons, the Hope Rising Memorial offers a "permanent" way to honor those people that died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. courtesy photo from colonial flag / perry van schelt

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(ABOVE) DECEMBER 1943. Marine Cpl. Henry Bake Jr. ( left ) and Marine Pfc. George H. Kirk, Navajo Indians serving with a Marine signal unit, operate a portable radio set in a clearing they’ve hacked in the dense jungle close behind the front lines in at Bougainville, New Guinea. (RIGHT) Philip Johnston, a missionary’s son, grew up on the Navajo reservation. He knew that the Navajo language had no alphabet or written record, and was near impossible to learn if you weren’t immersed in it as a kid, which he did. He alerted the military of this by staging a demonstration. Because of him, the Navajo code talker program began. (FAR RIGHT) 2001. President Bill Clinton authorized a Congressional Gold Medal for the first “Twenty-nine” who devised the code and a silver medal for all other code talkers. Pictured is the front face of the silver medallion. It depicts Ira Hayes, a U.S. Marine and Pima American Indian, who helped raise the U.S. flag over Mount Suribachi at Iwo Jima during World War II. all images from special collections marine corps university library


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WHEN WORDS MEANT DEATH THE NAVAJO CODE TALKERS OF WORLD WAR II by Robert S. McPherson fo r va lo r m aga z i n e


s the darkening shadows of World War II descended upon the United States, a very unexpected source of assistance arose from the desert of the American Southwest. Following a history fraught with defeat and control by the U.S. government, the Navajo people had settled on a 27,000-square mile reservation in parts of New Mexico, Arizona and southeastern Utah to live a pastoral lifestyle. Their highly traditional culture and Athabascan language had kept them safe and transmitted values for centuries. Now both would be used against a determined Japanese foe. Other Native American groups in both World War I and II used their languages to transmit information that could not be decoded by the enemy. The Navajo, however, did it on a scale that dwarfed the efforts of all other tribes, providing approximately 420 Marine code talkers, at least three of whom have Utah roots. (Recruiting documentation in rural areas of the reservation is sketchy.) The next two closest groups in size were the Comanche and the Chippewa-Oneida nations each with 17 communicators. Navajos also served in other branches of service and war-related industry, the Indian Service estimating that as many as 10,000 had served their country in some capacity. Employment plus patriotism fit well into the Navajo character.

RECRUITMENT AND CODE However, it was the Anglo son of a non-denominational Christian missionary couple, Philip Johnston, who gave birth to the idea of recruiting Navajos as code talkers. He has provided elsewhere a good explanation about how, at the age of 4, his family moved to the Navajo reservation in j u ly

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1896 where he remained for approximately 12 years before leaving behind many of his Navajo playmates that taught him their language. When Japanese bombs rained down on Pearl Harbor and dark days descended upon the United States, he remembered his friends. Following a number of convincing demonstrations that showed how accurately and quickly Navajo-speakers could transmit messages, Marine skepticsturned-believers decided to enlist a group of Navajos to train in communications. Dispatched to the Navajo reservation, recruiters obtained the first group—often referred to today as the “Twentynine”—to serve as radio operators and devise a code. Headquartered initially in Camp Elliott and later Camp Pendleton, Calif., this top-secret project was under stringent orders of secrecy. As the Marines cast a wider net for recruitment of Navajos, both on and off the reservation, they insisted the inductees have completed a minimum of nine years of formal education. In reality, they accepted others with less, some having only finished the seventh grade. The first Navajo Marines to develop the code came directly from boot camp and selected their own leaders. The orders given for developing this complex code were simple: Lock the “Twenty-nine” in a secure building each day until they finished the project. They were to create an alphabet using short terms for ease of transmission, choose words that were equivalent to English, then record and memorize what they devised. In a month’s time, these men developed the first working code, consisting of 211 words; by 1945, the count had risen to over 600. 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


(ABOVE) JULY 1944. Marine Pfc. Cecil G. Trosip, of Oraibi, Ariz., communication system on Saipan. (TOP LEFT) JULY 1943. PFC Preston Toledo of Albuquerque ( left ) and his cousin PFC Frank Toledo of Penistaja, N.M., at Ballarat, Australia with the 11th Marines, relay orders over a field radio in their native tongue. (BOTTOM LEFT) A trio of unidentified Navajo code talkers at work in the South Pacific. all images from special collections marine corps university library



n World War II, the United States Marine Corps used Native Americans for tactical communications; the U.S. Army also made some attempts, though the scale of effort was much smaller. With American Indian languages already being an infrequently-spoken language, the USMC code talkers further secured the communications by devising code words in the native languages, thus achieving a code-within-a-code system. There were two types of code used by different Native American groups. The first, Type I, used a code plus a tribal language such as Comanche, Chippewa-Oneida, Meskwaki, Hopi or Navajo. Indeed, the military recruited the first three tribes before the Navajo program began while the Hopi started in 1943. The second, Type II, depended upon normal use of the language, which for the enemy was confusing enough. Tribes belonging to this category were various bands of Sioux (Lakota), Cree, Kaw and Choctaw. Criteria for the selection of a tribal language included: “whether or not their language had been recorded; the number of males of appropriate age to enlist who were both fluent in their native language and English; overall willingness of tribal men to serve in the U.S. military; and the number of these individuals who could read and write English.”


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Most of the USMC code talkers employed were of the Navajo tribe. In the Navajo code, the 26 letters of the phonetic alphabet, instead of using “alpha, bravo, charlie” transformed into “wolla-chee” (Navajo for ant), “shush” (actually shash for bear) and “moasi” (cat). Other Navajo words substituted for the English term because of an object’s qualities. A fighter plane became a humming bird, a submarine an iron fish, a machine gun—rapid fire gun, a canvas litter or stretcher—scatter, and rocket—sand boil. For example, the word for the warship “cruiser” would be spoken as “lo-tso-yazzie”. If the message was intercepted, however, even if the enemy had the knowledge of the Navajo language, “lo-tso-yazzie” would only mean “small whale”. This two-level of complexity was the code-within-a-code system that made it so difficult to break. While “cruiser” was coded as “small whale”, there were many words that were not specifically coded. In those cases, words were spelled out by the letters of the alphabet, which was also coded. To prevent the enemy from deciphering the code by the frequency of each letter, multiple versions of each letter were introduced to thwart decrypting efforts. —mcpherson for valor

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Johnston later reported, “Within two years, some 300 Navajos qualified as ‘communicators.’ The percentage of failure was fantastically low—about five out of each hundred. And only one of that multitude ‘went over the hill.’” To insure correctness of translation with future classes, accomplished graduates remained behind as instructors. Thus, at the conclusion of an eight-week advanced training cycle, at first two and later as many as five Marines from that class taught new students before eventually rotating out to serve in the Pacific theater.

INTELLIGENCE AND BRAVERY Both in field-training exercises and combat, Navajo code talkers proved very effective. The Japanese were never able to break the code even when they had a captive Navajo who spoke the language but did not know the code. Verbal transmission time was almost instantaneous, highly accurate, and available at different echelons of command—from a Marine rifle company to a division. These specialized Marines served from the initial offensive in the Pacific at Guadalcanal through the final desperate battle for Okinawa. Praise for their skill, speed and accuracy accrued throughout the war. A classic example of their effectiveness emerges during the fight for the island of Iwo Jima (1945), perhaps the largest single deployment of Navajo code talkers during the war. Maj. Howard M. Connor, signal officer for the Fifth Marine Division, stated at the end of the battle: “The entire operation was directed by Navajo code. Our corps command post was on a battleship from which orders went to the three division command posts on the beachhead, and on down to the lower echelons. I was signal off icer of the Fifth Division. During the f irst forty-eight hours, while we were landing and consolidating our shore positions, I had six Navajo radio nets operating around the clock. In that period alone they sent and received over eight hundred messages without an error. … Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.” Navajo code talkers, once embedded in their unit, worked alongside other Marines to perform their duties. Whether laying telephone wire, serving as messengers, communicating by radio, fighting in foxholes, or serving onboard ship, they lived the same type of life as their Anglo counterpart with a few exceptions. They rarely talked about their special skill or mission to others, their white companions understanding that these communicators were speaking in their own language to deceive the enemy and that it was classified. That skill, however, was so highly prized and safeguarded that beside their Navajo communications counterparts, there was, at times, an Anglo buddy who remained by their side to protect them and prevent capture. j u ly

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HONOR AND DISTINCTION By the end of hostilities, the Navajo code talker program had proven to be extremely successful—one that the Marines wanted to retain for possible future use. The top-secret classification given to what these men accomplished remained firmly in place until 1968, 23 years during which the code talkers had to remain silent about their service. Failure to do so could result in lengthy incarceration in military prison. They were obedient to their charge and remained silent, even though like many veterans, there were scenes of horror that the men felt they could not discuss. Fortunately, through a ceremony called “the Enemy Way,” Navajos deal with the trauma of war most commonly known today as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Enemy Way ceremony is a threenight, four-day ceremony that involves many people and helped to heal returning veterans in a culturally compatible way without revealing actual military practices. Declassification of the code in 1968 opened the door for public recognition of the men who had used it. They now could share with family, friends and the public, what they experienced. A year later, the code talkers received their first official recognition in Chicago, when the Fourth Marine Division honored representatives from each of the six divisions. Every man received a medallion and public recognition. In July 1971, 69 code talkers met in Window Rock, Ariz., at a reunion sponsored by the Navajo Tribal Museum. This meeting gave birth to the Navajo Code Talkers Association, an organization with representatives from each of the divisions. Further national recognition blossomed: President Ronald Reagan declared Aug. 14 “National Navajo Code Talkers Day” in 1982; in 1994, the Navajo Nation proclaimed Aug. 14 “as the official day to honor and give special accolade annually to all members of the Navajo Code Talkers”; President Bill Clinton recognized this group, signing into law the “Honoring the Navajo Code Talkers Act” in 2000 and authorizing a Congressional Gold Medal for the first “Twenty-nine” who devised the code and a silver medal for all other code talkers, which they received in 2001; and finally, President George W. Bush broadened the scope of recognition by including over 20 other small groups of Native Americans who used their language to transmit important tactical information during combat, signing the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 on Oct. 15 as a way of thanking all American Indians for their contribution during World Wars I and II. Robert S. McPherson is a professor at Utah State University, emeritus status. He teaches at the Eastern Utah-Blanding campus and helps direct the Native American Studies program. He has authored many books on the Four Corners region and the people, both Native and Anglo, that live in the area. He is a veteran with 38 years with the U.S. Army and Utah National Guard. 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


'A N Y W H E R E O N T H E D E S E R T ' c o l . j o h n r . b u r n s , d u g way ’ s f i r s t c o m m a n d e r w h e n a s k e d w h e r e h e wa n t e d t h e n e w c a m p b u i lt

DUGWAY 75 YEARS OF SURVIVING IN UTAH'S WEST DESERT by Loren R. Webb fo r va lo r m aga z i n e


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reated from public land of little value or potent ial, U.S. Ar my D ugway Pro ving Ground was created in 1942. Lac k of water st y mied ag r iculture. Mining ne ver st r uc k pay dir t. T he nearest residents were c lustered at distant water sources. D ugway ’s land remains bleak today ; its borders lac k the ur ban spr awl of other installat ions. Yet, D ugway is a mere 85 road miles from Salt Lake Cit y and other met ro areas of the Wasatch Front. It is this isolation and space—inc luding 58,000 f eet of rest r icted air space— that makes this instal lation ideal for its pur pose as a test ing facilit y. Today, as D ugway Pro ving Ground celebrates its 75th year in operat ion, its mission continues to be “efficient test ing and suppor t to enable our nat ion’s def enders to counter c hemic al, biolog ic al, radiolog ic al, and explosives haz ards, ” according to Col. S ean G. Kirschner, D ugway's commander. “ D ugway Pro ving Ground pro vides unparalleled test ing, e valuat ion, training, and tec hnic al suppor t to the Depar tment of Def ense, inter-agenc y par t ners, and our Al lies while maintaining a wor ld-c lass workf orce, facilit ies and qualit y of life for our employees and their families. ”

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(ABOVE) TOOELE COUNTY. September 1916. A. N. Johnson, engineer, Portland Cement Association, on Lincoln Highway cutoff, seven miles west of Granite Mountain, looking westerly. lincoln highway digital image collection / university of michigan library (RIGHT) Circa 1900. Overland stagecoach on a western mail route. history of the old west




he coming of the Mormon pioneers to Utah in July 1847 and their subsequent settlements created more travel through the eastern boundary of Dugway area. Mormon settlement was limited to the Tooele and Rush Valleys which were judged to have agricultural potential by Brigham Young and his advisors.

route, was followed by the first transcontinental telegraph and eventually adopted by the Lincoln Highway Association for the first transcontinental automotive highway.

A number of survey teams and geological explorers began to explore the Dugway area beginning in 1853 with Lt. E.G. Beckwith commanding the Utah survey team. The survey was undertaken to identify a good central route for the transcontinental railroad, prior to the Civil War. From Salt Lake City, Beckwith came south of the Great Salt Lake and across the Dugway Valley at the northern tip of Granite Mountain, where he camped. Extensive evidence of mud in the area convinced Beckwith that no direct mail route could be made across the salt flats without extensive engineering and great expense.

In 1913, the Detroit-based LHA was backed by the new automobile industry intent on gaining publicity for their better roads movement. Ideally, the LHA would have preferred a concrete national highway, but as a practical matter they accepted the necessity of graveled and dirt roads on the more remote stretches. In their publicity, the promoters envisioned the portion of the road from Salt Lake City westwards as following the old Overland/Wells Fargo route.

dusty routes In 1858, the south-of-the-lake route became popular again, but included a necessary diversion just after Granite Peak; one that took travelers south to Fish Springs and west to Callao, before jogging north to return to the Beckwith trail. Other trails through this area were created by immigrant and Pony Express operator Howard Egan, who would lay out an overland stage trail, and then Capt. James H. Simpson of the Topographical Engineers who mapped a wagon road to Carson Valley from Camp Floyd. George Chorpenning, a businessman who had held the California mail contract, decided that this new trail was the shorter all-weather route he had been seeking. He built a string of stage stations at an average of 20 miles apart all the way to the Ruby Valley in Nevada. In the Dugway area, these stations were at Simpson Springs, Dugway Pass and Fish Springs. In operation between 1860-61 the Pony Express route passed south of Dugway using Simpson’s new route. By 1860 the Army had improved the route which had become the most popular route to California. The route was virtually the same route adopted by the Pony Express and Overland Mail Company. The Simpson


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muddy roads

The road through Johnson’s Pass was built but the road west of Granite Mountain was only partially completed as funds ran out. Utah refused to finance the road, so the Lincoln Highway Association financed a private effort to complete the remaining eleven miles quickly and cheaply. Ironically, it would be the Army that would doom the future of the Lincoln Highway route across Dugway, the exact same route pioneered by Lt. Beckwith, over 50 years before. In 1919, soon after the end of WWI, the U.S. Army Motor Transport Corps drove along the Lincoln Highway from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, a venture of 3,251 miles in 62 days. The project involved two full motor transport companies. The purpose was to test the mobility of the military during wartime conditions and to assess the condition of the nation’s current road system. As an observer for the War Department, Lt. Col. Eisenhower learned first-hand of the difficulties faced in travelling great distances on roads that were impassable and that resulted in frequent breakdowns of the military vehicles. These early experiences influenced his later decisions concerning the building of the interstate highway system during his presidential administration. The Great Salt Lake Desert, the area now occupied by Dugway Proving Ground, was the most difficult miles of the entire journey having “the worst road conditions encountered anywhere between the two coasts." —valor j u ly

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1940s: WORLD WAR II ORIGINS The Japanese attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor prompted U.S. military planners to develop military installations throughout the West, including a remote testing site in northern Utah initiated by the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS). Maj. John R. Burns was dispatched to find a remote, but accessible, unproductive piece of land to be used for full-scale testing of chemical warfare munitions and delivery systems. Such a need had been recognized by the CWS since the late 1930s and had slowly been maturing according to Rachel Quist, cultural resources manager at Dugway Proving Ground. On Feb. 6, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt withdrew an initial 126,720 acres of Utah land from the public domain for use by the War Department. Six days later, Dugway Proving Ground was established with official activation on March 1 and testing was under way by the summer of 1942. Dugway was authorized to fill the need for testing weapons and defenses against chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. Important projects during this early period included testing incendiary bombs, chemical weapons, and modified agents as spray disseminated from aircraft. Testers also did pioneer work on mortars. One of the most enduring legacies of Dugway’s wartime activities is the German and Japanese test village. In

approximately two months of rush work, there arose a most unusual collection of structures designed to simulate housing characteristics of the two countries. Testing produced volumes of useful data and led directly to successful fire-bombing raids on Japan. Originally the testing was to have been executed jointly at Maryland’s Edgewood Arsenal (Chemical Biological Center) and Aberdeen Proving Ground (Test Center) but it became evident that Dugway was more suitable to this type of testing and the test was reassigned to Utah’s west desert. “What was not anticipated was that Dugway would be needed for more than just a few months,” Quist said. “This all changed with high altitude spray testing that was authorized in early 1942.” “The first tests,” Quist said, “used water only and were principally designed to experiment with various operational methods. Grids and targets were laid out to the west of the main camp and sampling panels placed on the ground to record the varying patterns created by dropping chemical agent under differing conditions. The high altitude spray test program at Dugway lasted for two years,” while low altitude spray tests began in spring of 1944. Biological warfare agent research was added to Dugway’s mission with construction of the Granite Peak facility. According to Quist many organizations were supporting Dugway’s overall primary mission. “Dugway housed a Naval Chemical Warfare training area and later in the war operated

(TOP LEFT) 1942. Soldiers in a bunker prepared for a test. Maybe at German Village where incendiary devices were tested. photo courtesy of dennis woods (LEFT) 1942. Dugway's first structures were wooden shacks covered in tarpaper and heated by a single coal stove. Soldiers, civilians and the first commander had the same kind of quarters. photo courtesy of dennis woods (ABOVE) JANUARY 1944. Chemical Laboratory at Dugway Proving Ground. historic dpg photo

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uring World War II, Dugway Proving Ground became the site of a unique set of test villages built to simulate characteristics of German and Japanese housing in connection with testing a new type of incendiary bomb. Standard Oil Development Company had designed and tested a new bomb surpassing the technology of incendiary bombs. The bomb needed to be tested on targets as close to the real thing as possible. President Franklin D. Roosevelt suggested building mock cities using construction similar to German and Japanese cities to test the M69 and other bombs. The Army passed on the task of building German and Japanese targets to Standard Oil Development Company but the Army would make available a stretch of desert at Dugway Proving Ground. More than $530,000 was originally authorized for the buildings, but actual costs ran more than a million dollars. Due to the urgency of the project, the contractor was able to recruit prisoners from Utah jails to work with the craftsmen to complete six German units and 24 Japanese apartment buildings in two months. Untold manhours had gone into preparing the plans and assembling a team of experts.

(ABOVE) Fifty years after the testing one double unit ( right ) still stands in the German Village ( left ). No evidence of the Japanese Village structures remain. The old water hydrants are still intact and a bunker where the testers sheltered during the test bombing raids still have markings on the concrete walls where the testers left small-short notes for posterity. These structures are now closed to the public. (BELOW) Aerial of test villages during World War II. historic dpg photos

german village The German buildings were designed by a German refugee, architect Eric Mendelsohn. He provided comparative studies of two major roof structures used in Berlin, Leipzig, Breslau and Munich. The structures at Dugway were built in two sections, one duplicating the Rhineland construction with slate on sheathing roofs and the other, which was more typical of central and northern Germany, with tile on batten roofs. In order to duplicate the designs, the builders imported wood from Murmansk, Russia, for the attics of the German dwellings. Because of the wood’s unique composition, soldiers had to steam spray the wood at night to prevent it from drying out. This helped simulate Germany’s humid climate. The attic being the only combustible area in the building, other than the furnishings, caused the testers to retain RKO Studios in Hollywood to verify the authenticity of the furniture being built by a New York furniture company using the appropriate woods to simulate German furniture.

japanese village The same care and planning went into building the Japanese housing units. Czechoslovakian architect Antonin Raymond’s focus was similar to Mendelsohn’s with 18 years of building experience concentrating on roof structures of houses located in Japan’s industrial area. The Japanese tenements were divided into six double units with roofs of tile on sheathing and six double houses with sheet metal over tin. An accurately reproduced alleyway ran between the rows of two story houses, exactly eight feet wide as prescribed by Japanese custom. The intricacy of the Japanese structures included interior sliding rice paper walls, hard-packed rice straw tatami flooring and pillar supports for foundations. The War Priority Board confiscated a shipment of Russian spruce enroute from Siberia. This was used to simulate the main Japanese construction timber—Sugi. The builders used Douglas fir trees to simulate another Japanese wood known as Hinoki. Rattan was used as a substitute for bamboo.


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after testing Once the incendiary tests began, special work crews diligently repaired the structures between bombings. An on-site fire department controlled the blazes once the test officers were satisfied with test results. Despite the crew’s efforts, 21 target units were destroyed by fire in one week during June 1943. Although the M69 bomb was not used in raids in Germany because of Royal Air Force and U.S. Army Air Force tactics, the volume of data on incendiary bombs produced by these tests proved invaluable in successful fire-bombing raids on Japan. —dugway public affairs office for valor j u ly

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a school that included a specialized meteorology department; the National Defense Research Committee oversaw scientific research and maintained a special machine shop in Salt Lake City; the CWS medical division was charged with research on the prevention and treatment of chemical warfare casualties and with toxicological studies; and the Army Air Force were on post with their programs.” A CWS Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAC) reported to Dugway in May 1943. Many of the WACs were highly educated; some coming from years in public health and sought new methods in handling infections of gas wounds. At Dugway, WACs were trained to participate in field observation during mortar or rocket shoots, noting wind direction, air temperature, air pressure and humidity, and mastering the principle of balloon runs. Women also set up and oriented an artillery aiming circle and noted ballistic characteristics during rocket or artillery tests. WACs worked in every office and did every kind of job. Over the years, the proving ground underwent various name changes and periods of deactivation and reactivation. The size of the installation was increased when part of the Wendover Bombing Range was transferred to the proving ground. After World War II, the proving ground combined with the Deseret Chemical Depot to form a single command called the Dugway Deseret Command, later renamed Western Chemical Center. Near the end of the ’40s, many in Washington, D.C., felt

that Dugway was too remote; and yet, what had originally been part of why the site was chosen in the first place was what led to the decision to mothball the installation. It was placed on a standby status.

1950s-’70s: COLD WAR REVIVAL In 1950, the center resumed active status and acquired an additional 279,000 acres of land for exclusive use. Work continued for the next decade with new responsibilities being added as defense weaponry evolved. Dugway’s re-establishment brought new aspects to life for the desert-dwelling families. The new post was built on a much more solid, grander concept than the haphazard building of the war years. The new headquarters, barracks and dormitories were completed. A new school and a 400-unit family housing project were started in 1952. In 1954, Dugway Proving Ground was again confirmed as a permanent installation. That same year, a new 8,000-footlong runway was completed along with a new administration building, tower and parking apron. The original airfield, which was first constructed by literally scraping the desert earth, was renamed Michael Army Airfield after Chemical Corps Maj. Joe Berk Michael, who died in 1946 in a flight off Hawaii. The environmental test program was transferred to Dugway Proving Ground in 1953. Desert, tropical and arctic test teams were included in the environmental programs. The Chemical

(TOP LEFT) Circa 1950s. Whether chemical or biological, test personnel had to wear full protection to avoid exposure. (LEFT) Circa 1950s. A civilian protective mask developed at Dugway … "ruggedly constructed, inexpensive to produce and comfortable to wear, this protective device will soon be available on the open market for civil defense purposes." (ABOVE) FEBRUARY 1966. Test of a filtration system using a smoke or CS (tear gas) grenade. Dugway's 800,000 fenced acres accommodate such testing, without disturbing the public or seriously affecting wildlife. historic dpg photos j u ly

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(ABOVE) Dugway's annual S/K Challenge invites developers, manufacturers and users of chemical and biological detectors, for a fee considerably less than full testing, to the post to test their products. dpg optical photo / jim robinson (RIGHT) 2015. Jack Rabbit II test conducted for the Department of Homeland Defense released tons of heavier-than-air chlorine gas to learn how the gas ebbs and flows around different configurations. Dugway's massive, bare salt flats were an ideal site. dpg photo / al vogel



hether it is testing protective clothing and face masks or using detectors and decontamination systems, the goal of the Kendall Combined Chemical Test Facility at Dugway is to ensure that American and Allied fighters have the equipment that protects against biological and chemical agents. In addition to using tests to determine the survivability of military equipment when exposed to chemical agents, testers also analyze agents, simulants and other compounds of environmental samples from Dugway Proving Ground operations to ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations, according to the Dugway Public Affairs Office. “We think safety is extremely crucial,” said Chris Olson, chief of Chemical Testing Division at the West Desert Test Center (WDTC).

individual testing In the Chemical Test Division, Test Officer Andrew Neafsey said one of their missions is to materially challenge each piece of equipment, including masks, garments and gloves. They conduct three different levels of testing—including individual test equipment, swatch or component testing, and then test the entire collection of equipment together. Testers also do performance fit testing using a person to see if the mask fits properly.


breath. Testers set parameters for humidity and temperature control and then introduce a chemical agent by infusing a vapor into the influent air stream. They test for chemical agents as Sarin, GD (Soman), HD (mustard) and VX (nerve agent). “We really challenge these masks,” Neafsey said. “Over the years, we have seen better and better performance of these masks. The end result (of all this testing) is to ensure that these masks provide the required chemical protection."

customized testing The Joint Air to Ground Missile Dome Material, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Office, conducts tests involving detection, protection and decontamination of materials. When customers want to test for decontamination of a particular material, the CBRN lab can mimic the environment of a real battle material by using a two-inch sized “coupon.” Herbert Davila, project manager and test officer, said his role as a test officer is to find what a customer’s needs are and what their budget will allow for testing. All chemical agent testing at this lab is “destructive testing,” meaning that after the testing, lab testers are required to destroy the chemical agent.

“It takes a lot of expertise to properly conduct a chemical agent trial,” Neafsey said. “We will test multiple masks to come up with enough numbers” for an accurate analysis.

“The good thing about what Dugway does,” Davila said, “is that every one of our customers has unique requirements, and our job is to design tests that will answer their questions.” The customers then watch the tests, and at the end of the tests, we give them the analysis (or results) of the tests.”

Systems attached to the “green man mannequin,” formally known as the SMARTMAN, is set up so that it can simulate human

Testing teams consist of personnel from a wide variety of backgrounds, including the military, physical chemists and

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Corps Meteorological Research and Developmental program was added and the 2nd Chemical Weapons Battalion was assigned during July 1954. By July 1955, Dugway was re-designated as a Class III installation and an addition of land brought the installation total to 777,503 acres. The U.S. Army Chemical Corps Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Weapons School moved from the Army Chemical Center in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland to Dugway Proving Ground. By 1962, Dugway was placed under the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) a major element of the Army Chemical Command (AMC). In 1968, the Fort Douglas-based Deseret Test Center and Dugway Proving Ground combined and became known as the Deseret Test Center. This alliance lasted until 1973 when Dugway became part of the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (TECOM), headquartered in Maryland.

engineering technology—this covers the testing spectrum and maximizes resources. In addition to its collection and detection system for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear simulants, the Kendall facility is also used for a variety of non-traditional testing and training, including synthesis and detonation of homemade explosives (HME); comparison and analysis of traditional explosives to homemade explosives; construction and evaluation of damage from improvised explosive devices (IEDs); toxic industrial chemical (TIC) and Toxic Industrial Material (TIM) field testing for modeling and hazard analysis.

flexible testing At the Melvin Bushnell Material Test Facility, containment testing of large scale vehicles and equipment is conducted to simulate real situations. According to Matthew McCarty, project manager of secondary containment modules, the facility has three chambers where containment tests can be conducted. They include the 50-foot by 50-foot by 30-feet—big enough to fit an A1 Abrams tank—multi-purpose test chamber; and two smaller chambers: the 25-foot by 25-foot by 25-foot closed system chamber, and the 25-foot by 25-foot by 25-foot agent transfer chamber. The agent transfer chamber supports agent transfers and dissemination and monitoring of chemical vapors and aerosols. Glove box test areas can be taken apart, so that the whole test area doesn’t have to be used. “The key is flexibility,” McCarty said. “We want to be able to adjust our test infrastructure to the size of the equipment we need to test.” The chambers are scheduled to go into operation June 2019. “Our end product is data,” he said. “With the same chamber, I can get twice as much data … I can get that data back to people who make decisions on whether it’s safe enough for the war fighters to use in battle.” —webb for valor j u ly

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In the late 1960s, testing of chemical munitions was drastically reduced and brought a slowdown to the installation. Between 1974 and 1976, the Army Materiel Acquisition Review Committee recommended Dugway for closure. However, the Army was not successful at locating an alternative location to carry out the work of Dugway and it remained open.

1980s-’90s: DESERT TRAINING SURVIVAL Between 1985 and 1991, the 7th Ranger Training Battalion held desert training at Dugway. The Desert Training Phase included an in-flight rigging and airborne assault, and included patrolling during field training exercises such as “reconnaissance, raid or ambush missions.” A Sept. 19, 1989, Deseret News article noted that the desert phase of Ranger training was one of only seven programs that the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command specifically funded for continuation. Michael Army Airfield also made national headlines when a Boeing 747 was forced to make an emergency landing on Sept. 30, 1985. The plane was enroute from Oakland, Calif., to Newark, N.J., when an anonymous caller tipped the People’s Express company that an explosive device onboard was set to detonate at a specific time. Dugway dispatched a number of emergency personnel and thoroughly inspected the plane after its passengers disembarked. No bomb was found, but passengers and luggage were taken to Salt Lake City Airport to catch onward flights. The Boeing 747 aircrew later took off and headed for Wichita, Kansas. For 20 years between 1986 and 2006, the University of Utah managed a “Fly’s Eye” project at Dugway’s Little Granite Mountain. The Fly’s Eye ring of telescopes used large mirrors, and in November 1991, U. scientists made a discovery of a “super cosmic ray” that carried a billion-billion electron volts of energy. A 2008 study, based on data from the Dugway site, 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




roviding accurate “nowcasting” and forecasting of weather patterns at Dugway Proving Ground to help make testing operations safer, is the daily goal and mission of the Meteorology Division (MET). “If there are adverse weather conditions, we can predict it and notify the test officers right now,” said Division Chief John Pace. “We can also do this days in advance.” And with their ability to “now cast” (provide thorough analysis of what weather conditions are like at the present) as well as forecasting, “The advances that we have come up with here are used all over the world, particularly in Afghanistan, to support our troops,” Pace said. Dugway’s MET is the oldest continuously operating weather and climate organization in the Army. Today it provides meteorological, climatological and test support for Dugway, weather modeling support for all other Army test ranges and proving grounds, meteorology project management for defense atmospheric transport and dispersion (ATD), model development and validation, and serves as program manager for the Army Test and Evaluation Command’s (ATEC) automated weather system. Most of MET’s weather data goes back 40 years. With that kind of information available, it helps division personnel see if Dugway Proving Ground is setting records in precipitation, temperatures, wind speeds and more. To date, Pace said “we have not seen anything to indicate global warming here at Dugway Proving Ground.”

(ABOVE) 2017. Weather balloons can be launched at the request of clients. About 100 weather balloons have been launched during the past year. dpg photo / al vogel (BELOW) 2017. A mobile, trailer-mounted 30-foot tower contains meteorological and other scientific instruments during outdoor testing on the post’s sprawling grids. dpg photo / al vogel

a sensitive side Pace said the MET has a tremendous amount of weather sensitive equipment and weather models that predict the weather to a high degree of accuracy. “Our weather modeling equipment is higher resolution than the National Weather Service, which allows us to predict (weather patterns) more accurately,” he said. The MET has 82 permanently established 10-meter towers to collect weather data such as temperature, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, solar radiation and atmospheric pressure. In addition, the division also has at its disposal, 114 portable weather stations that can be deployed by just two people. All of these use radio telemetry and “we also use solar power so we don’t have to tie into something,” Pace said. The division also has one portable Doppler radar and one stationary Doppler radar in the mix. The four-dimensional weather (4DWX) system installed at Dugway provides a robust, efficient method to gather, reformat, and archive weather observation collected at each range. The system provides gridded weather information anywhere in the domain for the present and the future and can provide weather data for times past through the use of archived weather data. A Department of Defense high performance computer enables the use of a 30-member computer ensemble to make highly accurate model predictions. The 4DWX system includes the real-time four dimensional data assimilation (RT-FDDA) that uses the weather research and forecasting mesoscale model to provide a physics-based analysis of current or historical weather, as well as high-resolution forecasts of meteorological parameters for range operations, and for applications such as atmospheric dispersion models and any other models that require gridded atmospheric data such as ballistic trajectory models at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico and sound propagation models at the Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland. The MET currently employs 11 persons who conduct research and development in meteorology, and by regularly checking their data, they can help their customers avoid costly scheduling cancellations. With all of these meteorological tools available at Dugway, Pace said, “It is a very informed way for our customers to make intelligent decisions.” —webb for valor


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shows that it was likely an ordinary cosmic ray distorted by atmospheric conditions. After the end of the Cold War, Dugway’s future again became uncertain. In the early 1990s, the Department of Defense began a new program, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) to reorganize and streamline defense properties and installations. In 1995, Dugway was selected by the BRAC Committee for closure. In response, the newly created Utah Defense Alliance fought to keep Utah’s defense properties and was successful in keeping both Hill Air Force Base and Dugway Proving Ground open, but lost Defense Depot Ogden. In February 1999, Stardust, comprising a spacecraft and capsule, was launched to collect samples from a comet. The capsule, carrying collected particles, returned to Earth in January 2006, landing at Dugway Proving Ground.

2000s: MISSION EXPANSION After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Dugway’s mission load increased. Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives testing and training efforts continued to be the primary focus of Dugway’s mission. Training for pre-deployment soldiers and the incorporation of unmanned autonomous vehicles also spurred Dugway’s growth.

On Sept. 8, 2004, the Genesis spacecraft, launched on August 2000, released a sample return capsule, which made a hard landing on Dugway after a design flaw prevented the deployment of its parachute. This marked NASA’s first sample return since the final Apollo lunar mission in 1972, and the first material collected beyond the moon. In 2009, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, announced that Michael Army Airfield would be used for the development and testing of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for the new Rapid Integration and Acceptance Center (RIAC). The RIAC consolidates the testing of UAS payloads and technologies to allow for faster deployments to U.S. warfighters. The new facilities include six new hangars to accommodate the testing, maintenance and training of operations personnel on specific air vehicles within RIAC, according to the Dugway book. Dugway has 1,300 square miles of controlled airspace up to 58,000 feet above sea level which the RIAC may use for its operations. Current uses of the airfield include tactical air operations, testing aircraft chemical-biological decontamination survivability, transport to and from nearby drop zones, air re-supply and logistics, and testing of unmanned aircraft systems. In the summer of 2010, Dugway’s first Soldiers of the Alpha Battery, 3rd Air Defense Artillery/Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System ( JLENS)

(TOP LEFT) 2007. Joint Chemical Agent Detector field testing. Training scenarios give troops valuable experience to take with them into the field. (LEFT) 2002. The Air Force tests a portable patient decontamination system. Volunteers posed as wounded and were rolled on plastic stretchers from one decontamination station to the next. (ABOVE) 2016. A Marine uses a prototype applicator for spraying a liquid that turns color to reveal the presence of a chemical warfare agent. All outdoor tests at Dugway are conducted with simulated, not actual, agent. dpg photos / al vogel j u ly

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2011. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Predator lands at Michael Army Airfield. The Rapid Integration and Acceptance Center (RIAC) chose Dugway as the site to develop new unmmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for its remoteness and uncrowded airspace and communications signals. dpg photo / al vogel



roviding a single location where all unmanned and manned aircraft can conduct a variety of tests in restricted airspace, with the ultimate goal of supporting the soldier in the field, is the purpose of the Rapid Integration and Acceptance Center (RIAC) based at Dugway Proving Ground. Because Dugway has 1,299 square miles of surface-to-58,000feet of restricted airspace, its setting offers a perfect environment for RIAC to ensure the safety, performance and reliability of the Project Manager Office’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PMUAS) hardware and embedded software. Their facilities and test process are designed for rapid reconfiguration and maximum test scheduling to support a wide variety of testing with minimum cost to the customer. In 2009, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, sent a letter to the U.S. Army suggesting it consider Dugway as a place to test its unmanned aircraft because of the restricted airspace, the post’s 11,000-foot runway and 9,000-foot taxiway with operational run-up areas and direct access to taxiway, plus an 800-foot tactical runway and hangar. At the same time, PMUAS, based at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, was looking for a site to develop new unmanned aircraft in one location. It didn’t take long for Dugway to have a new tenant. One of RIAC’s main partners at DPG is the West Desert Test Center (WDTC), which shares in some of the costs expended by the RIAC. “We do what we can to provide the best support for our customers without being a burden on the taxpayers by leveraging partnerships,” said Director Jenny Gillum. She noted the economic impact of RIAC is estimated at $19.82 million per year.

birds in the air RIAC has built six hangars for storing its unmanned aircraft, which include Gray Eagle, Sky Warrior, Hunter and Shadow. • Gray Eagle has a 56-foot wing span, weighs 3,600 pounds and can travel to an altitude of 25,000 feet for up to 24 hours. It provides combatant commanders an improved real-time responsive capability to conduct


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wide-area reconnaissance surveillance, target acquisition, communications relay and attack missions. • The Sky Warrior has a similar wing span, and weighs 2,550 pounds. Its primary mission is intelligence. This system is frequently called upon for its endurance, high-res optics, and its ability to fly at higher levels of surveillance. In combat, it has been armed with weapons and can be used as a quick response in the field. • The weaponized Hunter is used in support of Army Aerial Exploitation Battalion for Reconnaissance Surveillance, Target Acquisition (RSTA) and is the Army’s longest serving Corps/Division level unmanned aircraft system. • The Shadow, with a wing span of 20.4 feet and weighing only 460 pounds, is a light weight and tactical system utilizing a number of technologies that make it one of the most productive and widely used UAS in history. RIAC also has an autonomous vehicle, a driverless system for high-risk projects that enables safe moving target engagements during live fire events. This unmanned truck allows pre-planned, multi-direction and speed runs up to 55 mph.

p l ay e r s i n t h e g a m e Ron Delgado, medium altitude endurance product lead with General Atomics and Northrup Grumman, noted that both organizations also have contracts with PMUAS. Another tenant, Textron Systems is the manufacturer for the Shadow. “They fly them and make sure everything works, before the government buys it,” said Heather Clegg, Textron UAS product lead. Once the government buys the aircraft, it is placed in a bonded storage facility in the Tooele Army Depot before being shipped. RIAC is also involved in Contractor/Government Owned Contractor Operated Training (GOCO). “The most important thing is supporting the soldier that is in the fight,” said Tracy Hedrick, RIAC deputy director. —webb for valor j u ly

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regiment arrived to learn, operate and test JLENS which enables sufficient warning to engage air defense systems and defeat the intruding attack cruise missile threat. Dugway now covers nearly 800,000 (798,214) acres. In addition to chemical and biological defensive testing and environmental characterization and remediation technology testing, the reliability and survivability of all types of military equipment in a chemical or biological environment is also determined here.

2015 AND BEYOND: FUTURE HORIZONS Dugway Proving Ground provides efficient testing to strengthen the readiness of our nation’s warfighters and empowers our defenders to win in the unforgiving crucible of ground combat. This readiness is our first priority and the reason we do what we do. Dugway continues to develop “bigger and better” tools and techniques to test biological and chemical defenses. Most recent to join the testing facilities are the Joint Ambient Breeze Tunnel ( JABT) and the Active Standoff Chamber (ASC). Their controlled environments reduce the number personnel and amount of stimulant required for testing. Every summer, Dugway invites developers, manufacturers and users of chemical and biological detectors to attend its S/K Challenge, for a fee considerably less than full testing. Simulated agents are disseminated in facilities and open air, and

participants learn how well their detectors or related systems operate in authentic conditions. As the war on terrorism makes headlines around the world, many military, police and first responders are looking for “unique urban field settings” to conduct strategic planning, training and field exercises. Dugway’s Mustang Village is an assortment of small-scale buildings with mock laboratories were bio/chem devices are found. “This is where they get a chance to build on their tactics, techniques and procedures,” said Wendell Williams, program manager, special programs division. “Training mirrors actual practice.” Since the early 1950s, Dugway has encouraged its residents to live with their family on post. The post’s schools have been part of Tooele County School District. A commitment to education excellence continues with a new $22 million K-12 school opened in 2016, funded primarily by the Department of Defense. Involvement between students and Dugway’s highly educated work force continues. And will do so far into the future … A native of St. George, Loren R. Webb grew up working on his father‘s dairy farm. He has degrees in journalism and history and has been a reporter in community journalism and 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. Dugway Proving Grounds Public Affairs Office—Chief Robert D. Saxon, Specialist Al Vogel, and Cultural Resources Manager Rachel Quist—contributed to this article. "The Story of United States Army Dugway Proving Ground" contributed historical information and was used with permission.

(TOP LEFT) MARCH 2017. In counter-CBRN training, gunners learn and practice defense skills they may encounter in a mock lab created to mirror an actual biological weapons lab in an urban setting. (LEFT) APRIL 2017. The SMARTMAN fixture is used for chamber bio/chem testing of gas masks and respirators. Its “breaths” can be regulated to mimic everything from sleep to high exertion. (ABOVE) MAY 2017. The Linux Fundamentals class at Tooele County School District Community Learning Center designed and built a payload containing samplers, carried by a weather balloon. dpg photos / al vogel j u ly

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Vet Centers offer a provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services for eligible veterans and their families. They partner with many organizations for social and physical programs. Such as Veteran Service Organizations, cities and country groups and nonprofits such as Continue Mission, Wounded Warrior, Pinups for Patriots, Splore, National Ability Center, Dive Utah. courtesy photos from various non - profit organizations


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PART 3: PEACE OF MIND va l o r m a g a z i n e


he Vet Center Program was established by Congress in 1979 out of the recognition that a significant number of Vietnam War veterans were still experiencing readjustment problems. The goal of the program is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services to eligible veterans, and their families to assist them in successfully transitioning from military to civilian life. Vet Centers are community-based and part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (vetcenter.va.gov). Each Vet Center is a unique ref lection of its community. “We go where the veterans are to provide them access to services within their own communities. We are an accessible, compassionate provider of mental health services, benefits information and provide referral as needed,” said Lindsay Rasmussen, counselor at the Provo Vet Center. Mental illness is a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors. A need to discuss stigmatization and how it keeps veterans as well as civilians from help-seeking needs to continue. At all levels, barriers to care need to be dismantled. Access to care needs to be supported and encouraged. According the Center for Disease Control (cdc.gov), 1 in 4 U.S. adults currently have mental illness. It is important to understand prevalence as it helps us to understand that we are not alone and there are others also suffering and recovering. Caregivers are integral to the health and wellbeing of veterans and for them to be effective caregivers they need to be also mentally, physically, and emotionally well. Vet Centers provide supportive counseling services and support groups to caregivers. “To those who have yet to seek treatment, you may feel alone, overwhelmed, and like no one can understand or accept you. Know that there is someone helpful waiting to connect with you and understand you. Find them. Not every counselor and client will be the best fit. Keep trying until you find the right fit. To those who are in treatment, commit and complete treatment. Come back if or when you need to, because there is always someone ready to listen and help,” said Rasmussen. “My wish for suffering veterans and spouses is that you remain fierce advocates for yourselves and the veteran community. Access all the resources available to you from VA resources to veteran nonprofit organizations. Share your story. Stay connected.”

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ick Adams loved his work as a helicopter mechanic with the 2-211th Aviation of the Utah Army National Guard. For 12 years he kept UH-60 Blackhawks in the air, most of the time at home station in West Jordan. He did the same in Kuwait and Afghanistan during his deployments for Operation Enduring Freedom.

The veterans he runs into at Yellow Ribbon celebrations and other briefings he gives are drawn to his ready, scruff-surrounded smile, close-cropped haircut, and approachable manner. It also helps that Adams himself has struggled after coming home from a combat zone and understands what these men and women are seeing and feeling.

In 2008 in Kuwait, Adams serviced the Blackhawks at Camp Buehring, and then the helicopters flew to hotspots in Iraq as part of Task Force Ghostrider. There he didn’t have much contact with the enemy, but in 2011 when the scene moved to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, all of that changed for him.

“The key is for veterans to recognize that something isn’t right and to do something about it,” explains Adams. “The problem is that many don’t think they have a problem.”

“We were rocketed 30 times in the nine months I was there,” he recalled. From the sound of the insurgent-launched mortars, Adams and his fellow mechanics got pretty good at guessing where the inbound rounds were headed. At the time they seemed more of an annoyance than a threat. “I would be in the middle of a repair and they would yell at us to take cover,” Adams said, not wanting to quit working and seeing it as more of interruption than anything else. Fortunately, none of the rounds ever came close, but the constant threat of rockets took an emotional toll on Adams, both at the time and today in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Now as outreach coordinator for the Provo Veterans Center, the long-since-discharged, thirty-something Adams works through his own PTSD and helps other service members and retirees to do the same. Adams calls himself a “recruiter,” talking to veterans and seeing what benefits they are eligible for and whether they have a serviceconnected disability. 30

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A LONG HISTORY Recognizing PTSD in oneself or in others could very well begin with knowing its history and how the understanding of the condition has evolved. In the United States, the first known cases of PTSD were documented during the Civil War, when it was known as Da Costa’s syndrome, or “soldier’s heart,” which manifested itself through a higher resting heart rate, resulting from soldiers being on edge constantly and having to be prepared to fight at any moment. Dr. Steven Allen, coordinator of the PTSD clinical team with the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System, suggests that cases of PTSD may go back much further—perhaps even to the time of the Trojan War. He cited the work of Dr. Jonathan Shay, who wrote Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character. In that book, Shay concludes that there is a strong similarity between the behavior of soldiers described in Homer’s Iliad and military members’ behavior during Vietnam. “Shell shock” was the name attached to the reaction to combat stress in World War I. Allen explained that the mortars used in j u ly

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trench warfare of that conflict produced over-pressurization waves, which caused changes in the nervous system of combatants. From that time, it was been accepted that sufferers experience an actual physiological change in their bodies. “Both the Civil War description and the World War I explanation of this condition are not far from our current understanding of PTSD,” said Allen. “And in World War II the condition was described as battle fatigue or combat neurosis, which implied a weakness in a soldier’s emotional makeup as the cause. Similar conditions were observed in Korea and Vietnam, but sufferers were not attended to very well.” A breakthrough in the study—if not the treatment—of what we now call PTSD occurred in 1980 when a landmark “confluence of ideas,” according to Allen, brought together the understanding of battle-related psychological symptoms and the research into the emotional and physical condition of women following sexual assault. At that time the American Psychological Association coined the term, “post-traumatic stress disorder.”

SUFFERING AND AVOIDANCE According to the Department of Veterans Affairs website, ptsd.va.gov, “PTSD is a mental-health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident or sexual assault. And at its core, says Allen, “is the avoidance of focus on traumatic events.” While PTSD commands much attention from sufferers, loved ones and professionals, Allen cautions that no one should overlook other multipliers of its effects. These include what he calls “moral injury,” which involves putting a person into a situation of violating the values they grew up with, such as killing someone. Even conditions such as survivor’s guilt, which affected many who returned home after service in Vietnam, can also add to such suffering. “Issues such as the transgression of what is ‘right’ can plague j u ly

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people, even if it wasn’t a traumatic experience,” Allen explained. “And anyone can develop PTSD if the exposure is long enough.” Specifically with combat veterans it is wrong to assume that each one comes back with PTSD. Allen suggests that the “Rambo” stereotype, that veterans pose a danger to others, is a myth that does a disservice to all concerned. “Most vets are not going to get in trouble with law enforcement, and PTSD alone does not increase a potential for violence,” Allen said. “But adding alcohol and drugs to the mix can worsen the situation.”

SYMPTOMS AND TRIGGERS There are four groups of symptoms that Allen has observed in his clinical work with veterans suffering with PTSD: n Re-experiencing the trauma—this may include thinking about it, mental images or dreams, and fitful sleep n Avoidance—staying away from things that remind the person of the trauma n Psychological—difficulty thinking, pulling back from other people, and negative thoughts about the world n Hyperarousal—nervous system on alert to threats, road rage, acting out, angry outbursts, sleep disturbance, nightmares, and risk-taking behaviors Depending on the individual, PTSD symptoms might not manifest themselves for years, or they may come and go over time, according toptsd.va.gov. This is the case for many veterans whom Nick Adams serves at the Provo Vet Center. “In our center I’m seeing a 70-30 mix of Vietnam veterans and those who served in Operation Enduring Freedom/, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF),” said Adams. “The younger veterans aren’t quite there yet, but they are slowly starting to trickle in,” added Adams. “And when they do, they say, ‘I should have come in years ago.’” 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



S H A R E YO U R S TO RY — S TAY C O N N EC T E D We are the people in the Veterans Administration who welcome home war veterans with honor by providing quality readjustment counseling in a caring manner. Vet Centers understand and appreciate veterans’ war experiences while assisting them and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in or near their community. We understand, and most of all, we care! UTAH MOBILE VET CENTER


The Utah Mobile Vet Center services for the Ogden area have expanded and relocated. Readjustment counseling services for combat veterans and their families have been relocated. Walk-in visitors are welcome, however appointments are encouraged. Now four readjustment counselors will be at the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home, Monday through Friday.

Counseling and VA information provided to veterans living in Utah and Salt Lake valleys, north to the Idaho border and to Summit County. By referral by team leader for additional contracts for therapy in St. George, Ogden and Vernal. Normal working hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

(next to the Browning U. S. Army Reserve Training Center) 1102 N. 1200 West, Ogden UT 84404 801-584-1294 or 1-800-613-4012, ext. 1294 PROVO VET CENTER Readjustment counseling and VA information to veterans living in central and southern Utah which includes Vernal to Wendover along the Nevada border; approximately 1,100 veterans seen over the past year. Normal working hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 1807 N. 1120 West, Provo, UT 84604-1180 801-377-1117 or 1-877-927-8387

22 West Fireclay Avenue, Murray, Utah 84107-2637 801-266-1499 ST. GEORGE VET CENTER Veterans, families of veterans, and members of the community who know veterans are all encouraged to help and support those returning from combat to readjust to civilian life. Normal working hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 1664 South Dixie Drive, C-102, St. George, UT 84770-7327 435-673-4494 or 1-877-927-8387


saltlakecity . va . gov / services / vet _ centers . asp

SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR VETERANS & SERVICEMEMBERS Visit VeteransCrisisLine.net Dial 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 Text to 838255 32

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“Those who served in Korea and Vietnam seem to have developed coping mechanisms, but as they retire they have more time to think, and they seek treatment,” said Allen. “For me personally, I had to recognize that sounds and smells were some of my triggers,” Adams explained. “I love and hate fireworks at the same time. If I know the sound is coming, I’m fine with it; but when it’s unexpected, it can set me off. And when I go eat at an Indian restaurant with my buddies, the smell of curry also takes me back.”

INTERVENTION AND TREATMENT Allen is pleased at the progress both in interventions and their levels of success. There is a wide variety to include evidence-based treatments (EBT), prolonged exposure (PE), and cognitive processing therapy (CPT). “We’re seeing some very effective treatments and a significant reduction in symptoms within 12-14 weeks,” he said. “A large part of it is helping people confront memories and reduce their power over them as individuals. We can’t undo what has happened, but disruptive symptoms can be lessened.” “Treatment is like an onion; it takes peeling back the layers,” said Adams, describing both his own healing and his observations of others. Group therapy offers a solid supplement to individual counseling. Adams and Allen listed a number of group interventions available in both Salt Lake and Provo centers to include groups for PTSD recovery, relaxation, movies, board games, and even coffee chats. Spouse-support groups and parenting classes also help partners and families understand what the PTSD sufferer is going through. Community resources are also a big part of the PTSD-response toolbox. Adams has a binder full of business cards as evidence of the partnerships the Provo center has forged: outdoor-activity groups, the Disabled American Veterans, National Ability Center, Utah National Guard family-assistance centers, Utah Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the United Way, local hospitals and dentists, and the VA, which funds the center.

HELP AND HOPE The military and supporting organizations like the VA and veterans centers have made great strides with PTSD understanding and intervention, but it is difficult to transform a military culture that has historically equated psychological and emotional struggle with weakness. Although there are more resources than ever for both sufferer and supporter, there is still a reticence on the part of some veterans to seek help. Allen is hopeful that we are turning a corner, however. “The stigma of PTSD is alive and well, but it’s diminished to some degree,” he said. “Veterans are learning that along with maintaining your equipment, you have to maintain yourself.” For his part, Adams does his best to reassure currently serving members that seeking help will not damage their career or affect their security clearances. He points out the veteran centers are under different reporting requirements, and the help they provide in 100 percent confidential. “It’s not too late,” Adams assures those who struggle with PTSD themselves or who are watching their family member soldier on with symptoms. “Getting help is the best decision you can make,” he would say to any veteran who doesn’t feel quite right after returning from the fight. “It will change your outlook. No, it’s not going to fix everything, but it will make it easier. Give it time.” And for spouses or family members Adams is equally hopeful. “Be patient and be supportive,” he says. And above all, “Don’t give up.” Hank McIntire served 26 years from 1988 to 2014 with the Utah Army National Guard and U.S. Army in both military intelligence and public affairs. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Utah Valley University. j u ly

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The Real Warriors Campaign is designed to combat the very real stigma about seeking mental health care by providing free and confidential resources for accessing support and treatment. It is important to note that treatment works and that the earlier you access treatment the better.


Call the DCOE Outreach Center 866-966-1020


Log on to real warriors live chat



Watch warriors share their stories



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For more information visit realwarriors.net

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‘WE ARE A 100-PERCENT VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION’ by Marisssa Glowacz s e rv i c e a n i m a l s f o r v e t e r a n s


or Joan Nold, president and co-founder of Labs for Liberty, the gold-star difference is their ability to operate entirely on volunteer support; every dollar benefits veterans in need. As a military mother with a background in law enforcement, Nold wanted to make a difference in the veteran community. She witnessed first-hand the strain that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and physical disabilities have on a vet trying to reacclimatize to civilian life, which gave her the idea to start the relatively new non-profit. Labs for Liberty has been in existence for just over two and a half years, but has already placed more than 45 dogs with veterans across 26 states. Any veteran is eligible to receive a service dog if they would benefit from having a companion. Nold explains that the application process entails the veteran providing “documentation of service, information from their health care provider, completion of two phone interviews and one in-person interview.” From there, a veteran is matched with a puppy who will be trained to assist that veteran’s needs. Lead trainer, Tanja Cosentino, attests to Labs for Liberty’s success to their unique training process. She works directly with foster trainers by holding classes to teach training, guidance and obedience, with an emphasis on instructing in public. Each Labrador retriever puppy is selected at eight weeks old and stays with their trainer for one year on average, or until they can pass a test confirming their honed skills. Labs for Liberty chose the Labrador retriever exclusively to train since they make great hunting dogs, something that is extremely important to a wide range of veterans. The program’s uniqueness also lies in its ability to keep its veterans involved throughout the training process. During training, each veteran receives pictures of their puppy and is in frequent contact with their puppy’s foster trainer. Nold says it best: “Once you’ve been accepted into the program, you become a part of the family.” Labs for Liberty prides itself on its family culture. Since every trainer is a volunteer, they truly care about their veteran.

Labs for Liberty at Liberty Outpost P.O. Box 633, Morgan UT 84050 605-408-4136, labsforliberty.org

There are currently 50-60 active foster trainers throughout Utah, 30 of which are students at the University of Utah. These fosters work in teams to assist in balancing the work load. U. student Madeline Snow is currently training her third dog. Snow became involved in its beginning stages on campus and said, “Labs for Liberty is not only a good cause, it saves lives.” 34

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Each Labrador retriever puppy is selected at eight weeks old and stays with their trainer for one year on average. The program keeps its veterans involved throughout the training process. courtesy photo of labs for liberty

HOW TO ACT AROUND A SERVICE DOG n Not everyone’s disability is obvious, so respect someone with a service dog n Do not pet, approach or distract a service dog n Service animals are working animals, not pets

—by Joan Nold, president and co-founder of Labs for Liberty

Nold remarked on how a service dog can give a veteran a new lease on life. It opens doors for them and empowers them to get back into a normal daily routine as a civilian. Nold said that all the hard work leading up to a veteran receiving their dog is worth it when you see the smile on their face. Marissa Glowacz currently works in digital marketing as a social media content coordinator at Utah Media Group, the advertising agency for the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News. She recently graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in strategic communication. j u ly

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CACHE VALLEY. June 2017. Veterans and prospective students participate in a trail ride. Utah Ride!’s goal is to take the program to other parts of the state. Coordinated through Utah State University’s Extension. courtesy photo from ride utah !


EQUINE EXPERIENCE—EMPOWERING THROUGH EDUCATION AND SERVICE by Dana Rimington b e h av i o r a l i l l n e s s s u p p o rt f o r fa m i ly


tah State University’s Extension program, in conjunction with USU’s Veterans Resources office, have developed Ride Utah!, a unique equine extension program providing therapeutic benefits for military personnel and veterans. Transitioning into a normal routine outside of military life can be difficult for many veterans, according to Veterans Resources Student Coordinator Justin Bishop. When Bishop retired from the Marine Corps and transitioned to civilian life, there were all kinds of barriers he said, but programs like Ride Utah! helped him work through them. “As veterans, we lose our buddy system and all of a sudden, you feel lost and alone, especially vets who’ve suffered any kind of trauma, so that sense of loneliness can be amplified,” Bishop said. “These rides help with the transition because it gets them outside and meet other veterans who have similar experiences, especially veterans trying to transition to college.” Riders are invited to bring a guest to enjoy a two-hour horse ride, meal and a professionally moderated group discussion focusing on issues facing military families. Veterans Resource Office Program Coordinator Tony Flores says j u ly

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Ride Utah! is designed not just for the veteran, but for their loved ones. “This is a low-key opportunity to give veterans and their guests coping tools and services they may otherwise resist in a normal setting,” Flores said. USU Equine Extension Specialist Karl Hoopes helped set up the program two years ago and has seen dozens of riders participate in the program. “Our veterans and military personnel learn a lot about building trust with individuals, especially as they learn to trust their horse and learn to live in the moment without worrying about the past or having anxiety about the future,” Hoopes said. The focus this year is to make Ride Utah! accessible in all parts of the state. “We want everyone to have this opportunity, especially since there are few resources for veterans and military personnel in rural parts of the state.”

LEARNING THAT HORSES AND HEROES GO TOGETHER n Equine trail rides have been shown to be relaxing, provide enjoyment, as well as improve relationships with friends and family n Hosted locally by county extension services and collaborates with community members and veteran and military support groups n Trail rides are held throughout summer and fall ranging from Cache Valley to St. George to San Juan County

To view a schedule and sign-up, go: eventbr ite.com /e/r ide-uta h-2017-tickets34637621057. The program is run on limited funds, so donations are always appreciated. Dana Rimington has nearly 12 years of experience covering stories involving education, military, government and business in Davis County. She focuses her efforts as a marketing content writer for businesses across the country.

Ride Utah! Utah State University Equine Center 3580 S. Hwy 89, Wellsville UT 84339 435-535-5140 extension.usu.edu/equine/ride-utah

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Recent graduates of a NAMI Homefront program. Homefront is a free, six-session educational program for families, caregivers and friends of veterans with mental health conditions. courtesy photo from nami



POSITIVE FEEDBACK FOR HOMEFRONT PROGRAM “When you hear their stories of pain, sadness, and confusion, and then being educated and receiving support from their instructors, they have the tools so they can cope better.” —by Robin Holcomb, Utah NAMI programs director

NAMI Utah 1600 W. 2200 South, #202 West Valley City, UT 84119 801-323-9900, namiut.org



n at i o n a l a l l i a n c e f o r m e n ta l i l l n e s s

hen Melissa Hansen’s husband served in Iraq over 10 years ago, Hansen prepared herself for the worst. Her husband returned home safely, but she was not prepared for his hidden injuries. “He looked the same because he didn’t suffer any outward injuries, but for the first couple of years he was home, he couldn’t really function without my help because of PTSD, something I had never heard of before,” Hansen said.

health conditions. However, there is still a stigma related to mental illness in general Holcomb says, which inhibits people from signing up for the classes. To overcome this hurdle, the confidential courses are set up to help families feel safe and secure.

At the time, not many resources were available to help family members supporting military members or veterans dealing with mental health issues. Now there are, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Homefront program which debuted two years ago.

Susan W. of Bountiful recently attended the Homefront program courses upon learning her husband had PTSD after 17 years as a combat veteran. “He didn’t display any signs at first, but then he started having PTSD blackouts,” she said. “These classes helped me understand how to help my husband by introducing me to the background and chemistry behind mental illness. I realized that what was happening to him was really out of his control.”

Homefront helps family members manage stress and crises, learn how to communicate effectively, identify and access federal, state and local services, understand research and information on mental health, including post-traumatic stress disorder, learn about current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects, and navigate the challenges and impact of mental health conditions on the entire family.

Hansen underwent extensive training and now teaches courses for the program. “There is a lot of need out there for family members, especially spouses of veterans to understand why their spouse is acting a certain way when they are suffering from PTSD and brain injuries,” said Hansen. “I believe we are on the right path to awareness, and this is one program that works to help family members find their path to healing.”

According to Utah NAMI Programs Director Robin Holcomb, the program is unique because classes are taught by trained family members of service members or veterans living with mental

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Dana Rimington has nearly 12 years of experience covering stories involving education, military, government and business in Davis County. She focuses her efforts as a marketing content writer for businesses across the country. j u ly

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Resources :: Mental O ve r t h i s f o u r - p a r t s e r i e s e x p l o r i n g t h e j o u r n e y t o re h a b i l i t a t i o n — b o d y, s o u l , m i n d a n d s p i r i t . VA LO R l o o k s w i t h i n o u r c o m m u n i t i e s t o i d e n t i f y p e o p l e , o r g a n i z a t i o n s a n d re s o u rc e s t h a t c o n t r i b u t e t o h e a l i n g t h e w h o l e w a r r i o r. In t h i s s e c o n d p a r t : We f o c u s o n t h e m i n d — m e n t a l i s s u e s t h a t i n f l u e n c e u s .


WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT Provide services such as physical activities, mental health services, economic help, engagement with community and other veterans. woundedwarriorproject.org

CANINES WITH A CAUSE Effectively and holistically treat combat veterans with PTSD with well-trained, specialized service dogs rescued from kill shelters and using prison inmates to train them. canineswithacause.org LABS FOR LIBERTY Providing service dogs for veterans suffering with PTSD traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other physical injuries. Inquire how veterans can go to “Liberty Outpost" on vacation for free. labsforliberty.org 4 PAWS 4 PATRIOTS We combine our love and respect for American veterans and first responders with our love and devotion to saving a shelter dog. 4paws4patriots.org/ locations/ogden-ut/ NATIONAL ABILITY CENTER Empowers individuals of all abilities by building selfesteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs. Equestrian programs offer therapeutic benefits for individuals with cognitive, behavioral or physical disabilities. discovernac.org A HELPING HOOF Serving the needs of veterans who are struggling with the symptoms of PTSD with the use of horse back riding. A place where people who dealt with anxiety and depression could come to work with horses to help them feel better. ahelpinghoof.org


Nick Adams ( left ) from the Provo Vet Center answers questions during a "benefits and resource" fair sponsored by Pinups for Patriots. Attending this type of activities bring veterans, care givers and organizations together. Giving all the opportunity to give and to receive help. courtesy photo from pinups for patriots

SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS AMERICAN HEROES PROJECT & HAND IN HAND OUTDOORS Resources to enrich their lives through participation in the outdoors with guided fishing, boating, camping, hunting and shooting sports. americanheroesproject.org CONTINUE MISSION Local non-profit organization serving veterans of all eras with service-connected physical, mental and emotional injuries. Year-round activities promote health and wellness. continuemission.org HEROES ON THE WATER To help warriors relax, rehabilitate and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors. Local chapter hosts events on the state's waters. heroesonthewater.org

OPERATION PAY IT FORWARD We challenge all of veterans to spread the word to their brothers and sisters that need help or use some time in the outdoors to re-focus their minds on the important things. opif4ourvets.org

HEARTS OF VALOR A network of people caring for wounded, ill or injured service members post 9/11, mainly spouses and family, associated with Operation Homefront. heartsofvalor.org NAMI UTAH NAMI believes veterans should receive at least the same full range of integrated services within the hospital and upon discharge to the community that are received by people with mental illnesses served by other public systems. namiut.org/familiescaregivers/veterans-andfamilies

UTAH DISABLED VETERANS FISHING FOUNDATION Providing education and recreational therapy opportunities through participation in a day of guided fishing and recognition. udvff.org

VA CAREGIVER SUPPORT Comprehensive assistance for family caregivers offers enhanced support for caregivers of eligible veterans seriously injured in the line of duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001. caregiver.va.gov/support support_benefits.asp

VET TIX Provides tickets to events which reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, build life-long memories and encourage service members and veterans to stay engaged with local communities the nation. VetTixers sign up online. vettix.org

WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT —FAMILY SUPPORT POST 9/11 Team reaches out to family members and caregivers of warriors living with physical and/or mental health conditions to ensure they receive the full range of support and benefits. woundedwarriorproject.org/ programs/family-support

This list is not meant to be all-inclusive. For additional recreational options, reach out to your local veteran center.

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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 12, 2017 Learn about our Veterans With Disabilities Honor Pass at stateparks.utah.gov

Veteran Bryant Jacobs enjoys his first time standup paddleboarding at Rockport State Park. Thanks to instruction from Continue Mission (continuemission.org) and equipment from Splore (splore.org). Veterans of any recreation level and disability have options for equipment and support, check out veterans.utah. gov/recreational-resources/


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A Salute to Utah's Veterans and Military

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A Salute to Utah's Veterans and Military

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