DAV's State Conference honors military personnel

LEWISTON, ID - Hundreds gathered for the Idaho Department of Disabled American Veterans and Auxiliary's annual state conference.

The ceremony was filled with endless salutes, countless "ooorahs" and heartfelt patriotism. The Disabled American Veterans organization is made up of 1.2 million wounded and injured war veterans, all of which are dedicated to one common purpose.

"Empowering veterans to lead high quality lives with respect and dignity," said LPD Chief Steven Orr.

Many local vets said that hosting the DAV State Conference in Lewiston was long overdue.

"This is the first time since 96, most the time it's in Boise," said Disabled American Veterans Commander Robert Whitlock.

"This region is rich with veteran history and participation," said Orr.

And many agree. Speakers from Alaska all the way down to Utah were in attendance. And the support didn't stop there, as a representative of Senator Crapo's office read a letter of support from the senator.

"I look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure federal veterans policies provide high quality support for you and your families...US Senator Mike Crapo." said Assistant to ID. Senator Tony Snodderly.

Veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces are taking part in the annual conference. Lewiston Police Chief Steve Orr is a former Marine, himself.

"I'm very honored to be in this room with veterans, warriors, men and women who fully understand the meanings of terms like honor, pride, courage and sacrifice," said Orr.

Honoring not only what veterans have done but what they continue to do is important to Lewiston Mayor Kevin Poole.

"We have our community veterans raising funds to get a flag pole for our library," said Poole.

The two-day state conference continues through Friday.

"God bless you and God bless America, thank you," said Orr.

A memorial service for members of the DAV who died in the past year is scheduled to take place Friday at 9a.m.