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After a two-year hiatus, the NAC's Saluting Our Heroes luncheon returns

General Martin Dempsey is the keynote speaker for the Saluting Our Heroes luncheon on Oct. 20.
National Ability Center
General Martin Dempsey is the keynote speaker for the Saluting Our Heroes luncheon on Oct. 20.

The National Ability Center is once again hosting its annual Saluting Our Heroes luncheon this month to honor military service members and veterans.

For the first time, the National Ability Center will be hosting the lunch on site at its Quinn’s Junction campus. Caitlin Bognaski, the senior development and events manager for the NAC, says they’re looking forward to showcasing their facilities now, since they had opened up during the pandemic. The event is happening Thursday, Oct. 20 at 12:30 p.m.

“We figured we have a brand-new building on our campus, well, brand new in 2020, called the Hub that can seat about 300 people for a seated lunch,” Bognaski said. “And so, we thought it'd be a great opportunity to get more people up to our campus and be able to see the facilities and the programs we have to offer, as well as keep our costs down a little bit. It is a fundraiser. So, we wanted more of that money raised to go to the military participants and programs.”

Tickets are $60, or half that price for service members and veterans. A link to buy tickets is in the web version of this report at kpcw.org.

The keynote speaker is General Martin Dempsey, the former Joint Chiefs of Staff to President Barack Obama, and Bognaski has an in with him...

“He’s actually my dad, so, I reeled him in with a promise to get some time with his grandkids,” Bognaski said. “And he believes very strongly in our mission as well. So, he was excited to come out and speak at that event.”

Veteran support is at the core of NAC’s mission.

“This is actually what we started as. We supported veterans coming back from Vietnam, with a s ki program up at Park City Mountain when it was much smaller than it is today,” Bognaski explained. “So, it's really embedded in in our roots. And now it's about 30% of who we serve. And today, really, a lot of the veterans that come to us, it is a lot more of that PTSD, combat stress. And it's amazing to see what outdoor recreation and the camaraderie that they build with other veterans at the NAC can do for them.”

In addition to the luncheon, the NAC will be placing more than 100 American flags at Miners Hospital and City Park honoring Veterans Day, which is Friday November 11. The flags will go up the week before and come down the Monday following Veterans Day.

WEB – You can find the link to purchase tickets to the Saluting Our Heroes luncheon here.