Other members of the family participated in the ceremony, which lasted more than two hours. A dinner was held after gifts had been presented to Pinkham, including a special Pendleton blanket adorned with Appaloosa horses, and a quilt from the Lewis-Clark Quilts of Valor group. Idaho’s U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch and Rep. Russ Fulcher sent an American flag from Washington, D.C.
“When we get people together like this, we always try to feed them,” Allen Pinkham said. “It’s a good way to get my older brother reacquainted with the people after all of these years.”
Mary Taylor, who runs the Veterans Program for the tribe, helped organize Saturday’s celebration when she heard the only surviving WWII vet was returning for a visit. Seeing the new dances and paying tribute to the oldest tribal member brought tears to her eyes.
“He’s never been honored before and he’s a veteran,” she said. “We needed to do something special.”
Author: Kerri Sandaine
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