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Senior veterans honored by community

Posted at 6:29 PM, May 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 15:04:43-04

MURRAY, Utah – A local non-profit honored 75 Utah veterans on Tuesday afternoon in Murray.

The non-profit, called Senior Contributions, hosts a monthly luncheon for seniors who are looking for resources.  This month the organization honored veterans in preparation for Memorial Day.  Each veteran received a congressional certificate thanking them for their service.  It was signed by Utah Congressman John Curtis.

“The lifestyle that we are privileged to live today is a blessing because of everybody who has come before us,” said Senior Contributions President and Founder, U.S. Air Force veteran, Daniel Short.

A few years ago Short learned about State offered senior programs like Care Giver and Meals on Wheels.  He also learned they were underfunded.  He created Senior Contributions to help educate seniors in the community about the resources available to them.

“If everybody knew what was happening the struggles and challenges that existed, then everybody would help out; so we built this program to help support these underfunded programs and others,” said Short.

Veterans like U.S. Army veteran Leon Ruflin appreciated the respect they received at the award ceremony.

“It’s nice when people will honor you and congratulate you; and same here (at the ceremony luncheon) when we see another veteran here, we want to congratulate him on his service,” said Ruflin. “The little kids are starting to learn this about the military and the families and it’s so touching, so touching to see younger people stepping up.”

U.S. Navy veteran Robert Montoya enjoyed celebrating his service with his loved ones.  All three of his brothers, plus himself, served in the U.S. military.

“We were all at the same time, two Army, one Air Force, and I was Navy, so we served our time,” explained Montoya.  “There is something about comrades, no matter what service you were in, you always have something to talk about.”

Harry Head and his "war bride," as she proudly calls herself, Beverly will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary this coming Saturday, the weekend before Memorial Day weekend. They got married a month before he was sent off to Korea.

“When I graduated from high school, two of my buddies joined the army,” said Head.   “They wanted me to join with them but I wanted to finish school; I told them I’ll join up with them.  Well, two months later they were dead. Both killed in Korea in the invasion amongst the first to die, so I joined the Navy.  “I’ve never been sorry; greatest experience of my life.”

“They don’t get as much attention, the Korean vets don’t; but we are proud to have served, and he did a great job,” said Beverly Head.

More information about Senior Contributions: