BURLEY — About 18 years ago, several Vietnam War veterans banded together to create a Vietnam Memorial to honor those who served. A Huey helicopter was donated which, like them, had actually seen action in Vietnam. The originators also planned to erect a plaque, engraved with the names of area veterans, next to the Huey. They decided that those local veterans would qualify to be on the plaque.
The Vietnam Memorial was placed at the entrance of the Burley Airport, almost at the dividing line between Minidoka and Cassia counties because it’s purpose was to recognize Mini-Cassia area veterans.
Since several newspaper articles have appeared about the repair work being done on the memorial’s helicopter, numerous people have come forward asking to have their names or the names of friends and relatives engraved on the plaque.
To appear on the memorial, the person’s discharge papers or DD-214 must be presented to verify their service in Vietnam: he or she must have volunteered or been drafted from Minidoka or Cassia counties and the person must have served in Vietnam, in-country, or have been assigned to a ship serving in Vietnam territorial waters.
There are many Vietnam veterans who live in this area now, but many of those volunteered or were drafted before they came to live here. Even though their service is very much appreciated, they do not qualify to have their names on this particular memorial.
If anyone knows of a person who should have his or her name on the Vietnam Memorial, meeting the above-listed criteria, bring the documentation into the Mini-Cassia Veteran Service Office, 625 Fremont Ave., Rupert, or call 208-678-3599.