Veterans Day marks a time of recognition across the country of those who have served, but one monthly veteran recognition program in Gage County has seen decreased numbers in recent months.
Since 2013, the County Board of Supervisors has held a veteran of honor program.
The monthly event consists of finding one veteran to recognize at a board meeting each month.
The program wasn’t held in November, though, due to a lack of applicants.
“They tried three different veterans for November,” County Board Chairman Myron Dorn said. “One declined, one moved away and one was busy with harvest. A while ago, they had a fair amount of them in the pool to bring forward. Right now, they don’t have any in the pool.”
The program consists of a standing ovation and round of applause, while the veteran is presented with a gift.
Gage County Veteran Services Officer Phil Dittbrenner introduces the recipient, and the veteran has an opportunity to talk about his or her service experience.
Some recipients have shared war stories with the board, while others have simply thanked the board for its recognition.
A speech is not required, and anyone can nominate a veteran for the program.
“It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular,” Dittbrenner said. “We just need nominations. It’s been consistent for nominations and we usually get some that come in. Sometimes there’s an overabundance, and then sometimes we don’t have any.”
Dittbrenner said he’s enjoyed the program, in part because it gives him the chance to share a veteran’s service history, including when and where they served and what medals were received.
He added that Gage County has no shortage of veterans. It’s just a matter of raising awareness of the program, and pointing out that family members can do the nominating.
“A lot of it is they don’t want the recognition,” Dittbrenner said. “They don’t want to draw attention. Most feel that they did what they did and that’s that. They don’t want any fanfare.”
Anyone interested in nominating a veteran is encouraged to contact the Gage County Veterans’ Service Office at 402-223-1342.