At noon on Friday, November 9, the Charter Oak American Legion will formally dedicate a Crawford County bridge in the memory of Dallas Nihsen.
SP5 Dallas L. Nihsen was assigned to B Troop, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 1st Aviation Brigade.
He was killed in action in Vietnam on April 15, 1972, when the helicopter in which he was a door gunner took hostile fire.
The bridge, which is just south of Ricketts on county road L51, was named in his honor as a part of the bridge-naming project for Crawford County service members who were killed in action.
Nihsen was a member of the Schleswig High School class of 1968.
The dedication will be dependent on the weather, said Crawford County Veterans Affairs Director Louise Galbraith.
From 7 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 10, Denison VFW Post 2504 is sponsoring a Dad’s Belgian Waffles fundraiser for the Veteran’s Honor Flight at the National Guard Armory on Highway 30 east of Denison.
Waffles, sausages and beverages will be served and the Crawford County VA will sell t-shirts to support the honor flights.
Each year, the Honor Flight program arranges for veterans to fly to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials to their service in that city.
While in Washington, the veterans are often greeted by Iowa’s elected officials.
Veterans never pay anything to participate in the Honor Flight, Galbraith said.
The Crawford County VA must raise between $5,000 and $6,000 per year for the flights, which was initially a major hurdle to overcome, Galbraith said.
“It’s still challenging but I am not stressed out anymore because the community is so supportive,” she said.
The program initially started by taking World War II and Korean War veterans to Washington, D.C., but Vietnam veterans are now being included.
“Eventually they will add Persian Gulf veterans, so it will be ongoing for many years,” Galbraith said. “It’s going to be a continual fundraiser for as long as we have veterans.”
The all-you-can-eat fundraiser costs $8. Children age 5 and under eat for free.
Tickets are available at the VA office in the Crawford County Courthouse or from VFW members in Denison.