Former ITD Director and military veteran General Darrell Manning (far left) cheers the new sign along with Purple Heart Commander Dan Neal (center) and Veteran of Foreign Wars Commander Captain Henry Parker (pointing, far right).
ITD unveils new highway signs to honor Vietnam veterans
Travelers along Interstate 84 in Idaho can now see reminders of the sacrifice made by Idaho men and women who served in Vietnam more than 40 years ago. The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) is installing the new road signs along I-84, which has been officially designated as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway.
The new 4-foot by 8-foot signs will replace smaller signs placed earlier along the interstate through a partnership between ITD and veterans groups. Eight signs will be installed along I-84 between the borders with Oregon and Utah. The signs cost about $1,000 each, paid for by the ITD Operations budget.
In 2014, the Idaho Legislature made the designation to honor more than 44,000 Idahoans who served "in country" between 1961 and 1965 during the Vietnam War. This was approximately 36 percent of the veterans now living in Idaho. Two hundred and seventeen Idaho heroes were killed in action. More than 1,000 were wounded. Eight are still unaccounted for and remain missing in action.
Pictured: A crowd of about 75 attended the July 3 event.
“Idaho has a great history of service to our country,” said ITD Chief Operating Officer Travis McGrath. “These new signs allow us to show our appreciation for those men and women who stood up to protect our freedom.”
The new signs were unveiled July 3 at an event at the Snake River View Rest Area on I-84 as drivers enter Idaho from Ontario, Oregon. The event was emceed by ITD Communication Manager Vince Trimboli, followed by speakers ITD Chief Operations Officer Travis McGrath, a veteran of Operation Desert Storm & Operation Desert Shield; Dan Neal, Idaho Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; and Capt. Henry Parker, Idaho Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Capt. Parker served two tours in Vietnam from 1968-71, was wounded twice, and received both a Bronze Star and Silver Star.
ITD employs more than 200 current and former military veterans.