Small Town of Perry Shows Big Time Support for its Veterans

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PERRY, Iowa -- November 11th is more than a normal day for most residents of Perry.

“It is a time of celebration,” said Jay Pattee, Mayor or Perry. “It’s a time we look back and acknowledge what our citizens did to protect our freedom. It’s important for us, to Perry that we celebrate them. They deserve it.”

The city features eight events to show its thanks to those who fought for the country. One of the events is a Shakespearean reading of Band of Brothers and a video to accompany it.

“It is a way to introduce the whole events of the days,” said Pattee. “The biggest part of the day is hearing the stories of those who served.”

Pattee said giving those vets a chance to talk is so important to the success of the program.

“When you hear them talk, no matter the conflict, they are extraordinary,” said Pattee. “Serving this country is a selfless act. The day starts early for most, around 200 vets are expected to make their way down to Hy-Vee for the complimentary breakfast.”

Tom Lipovac is the activities director at Perry High School and he says the opportunity for his students to hear their stories is simply special.

“It’s a special opportunity for them,” says Lipovac. “We began to invite veterans in 1989, it’s an opportunity to make history come alive.”

Lipovac said students often walk away in awe after talking with them.

“Somethings I don’t tell them. I want to tell them about my friends I lost in action,” said Mahlon Conaway, World War II Army Infantry Veteran. “When I want to share I always see a young girl and I don’t want to scare them. There are some things you can’t share.”

Conaway said students are interested in his stories and he is always happy to share. He will be speaking apart of a panel Wednesday. It will feature veterans from the Korean War and World War II.

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