Idaho State Veterans Home pays tribute to U.S. service military heroes

Posted at 6:35 PM, Nov 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-11 20:47:23-05

November 11th is a day to say thank you to all American veterans and to pay tribute to those who have served our country.

A special ceremony was held at the Idaho State Veterans Home Friday morning.

This year's ceremony had a special emphasis on women in the military as the start of 2016 served as a new era in U.S. history. Restrictions were lifted for women service members in combat roles. All military positions are now open to women.

Surrounded by veterans who fought in W.W.II and the Korean war, the keynote speaker stepped up to the podium.

"All the time that I've served has taught me how to be a better person, how to be a better leader, how to help others, to teach... and Veterans Day is about the military from past to present, all the experience that you have, and all who have served to make America better," said MCPO Ruth Drake-Heyob, U.S. Navy.

On this day, it was also announced that longtime volunteer coordinator for the veterans home in Boise, Phil Hawkins, is retiring this Spring.

The Command Sgt. Major retired dedicated countless hours to the veterans he served. The 72-year-old was awarded with the Idaho Distinguished Service Medal.

"I'll be honest with you, I don't know too many people who have received this [Idaho Distinguished Service medal]," Hawkins said. "I am just overwhelmed to be a recipient of this medal. That's just amazing to me."