Monday Morning Boost: Cost of Freedom Tribute

Monday Morning Boost: Cost of Freedom Tribute

He felt lost in the soul but content living in his ramshackle camp. He was tall though it was hard to tell as he was quite hunched over. His face hadn’t seen a razor in several weeks and his hair was matted and dirty. When he smiled, which he did quite easily, I could see he was missing a few teeth.

A worn-out tent along with an equally worn-out sleeping bag was his home. A stuffed army duffle bag, faded olive drab green, looked to be stuffed with clothing. Outside the tent were a dented Coleman propane stove, a saucepan, a frying pan, and a small coffee pot that was once shining stainless steel but now mostly blackened by many campfires. He had a tin cup.

I knew his name at the time but have since forgotten. But I will never forget who he was and why it was important to me.

He was a veteran.

Image courtesy of American Veterans Traveling Tribute.


An 80% scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall will be in North Logan in northern Utah as part of the Cost of Freedom Tribute. The replica wall stretches over 380 feet long and contains all 58,253 names of fallen military members.

The Cost of Freedom Tribute is a traveling exhibit from American Veterans Traveling Tribute (AVTT) and will be here in support of the Cache Valley Veterans Association. Along with the Vietnam Wall replica, there will be memorial tributes to World Wars I and II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Deseret Storm, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Cost of Freedom Tribute | August 26-29 | Thursday ~ Sunday
Elk Ridge Park | 1100 East 2500 North | North Logan

There will also be exhibits honoring the Cold War, Iran Hostage Crisis, USMC Beirut, and many mostly forgotten skirmishes and events impacting the American military, including Grenada, El Salvador, Panama, El Dorado Canyon, Somalia, Khobar Towers Bombing, USS Stark Attack, USS Cole Attack, and the Fort Hood shootings.

The 9/11 Tribute will be of particular interest in recognition of nearly 20 years since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The tribute will recognize each of the four doomed flights, the casualties, and the “Not Forgotten” memorial in New York City.


On Friday night starting at 6pm sharp there will be a special “Honors Ceremony” followed by a benefit concert as part of the Cost of Freedom Tribute. A Night Like No Other will feature musical performances by the Sky View High School Choir, the Cache Valley Good Times Brass Marching Band, and headliner Off Center Band who has been called “northern Utah’s hottest country rock band.”

The highlight of the evening will be the opening tribute ceremony with an Honor Guard from Hill Air Force Base, a tribute to the Fallen, and a special message to raise awareness of the mental health of our veteran community. It will be my honor to share a connected message of hope for our veterans and those who support them.

The focus of the benefit concert is to raise money for the Cache Valley Veterans Association and the Dan Gyllenskog Veterans Resource Center, the first veteran’s resource center in Cache Valley which was recently dedicated in North Logan.


On Saturday will be the Michael J. Allred “Ride for the Fallen,” also at Elk Ridge Park. Registration begins at 8 a.m., pancake breakfast for riders and passengers begins at 9 a.m., with kickstands up at 10:30 a.m. Over 100 motorcyclists and bikes are expected.

The Ride for the Fallen is an annual motorcycle tour of northern Utah and southern Idaho in honor of Lance Corporal Michael J. Allred, a U.S. Marine and the first combat casualty post 9/11 from Cache Valley. He was killed in action in Iraq on Sept. 6, 2004.

Michael, as many of you already know, was also my friend.


The Cost of Freedom Tribute is a huge effort brought together by the Cache Valley Veterans Association, Cytiva, and Sunset Mortuary, and North Logan City.

You can also be a part of it. Volunteers are needed to assist with this amazing tribute, everything from set-up and takedown, helping visitors find names of loved ones and friends on the Vietnam Wall Replica.

Below is a list of areas where help is needed. If you would like to volunteer, please call the Dan Gyllenskog Veterans Resource Center at 435-213-9098.

1) Set up/Tear Down Volunteers for the Wall
Set-Up: Aug 26th beginning 8:00am
Tear-Down: Aug 29th beginning 11:00am (after the field chapel service)

2) Assist patrons finding names on the Wall
Need Volunteers throughout Thursday-Sunday (AM) to assist in finding names on the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

3) Monitor and keeping the entire park clean
Volunteers to assist in ensuring garbage etc. stays clean throughout the park.

4) Assist with MH booths and Veteran Groups/Agencies
Aug 26th/27th Volunteers needed to assist the booth set up to avoid delays in ceremonies etc.

5) Assist CVVA on Registration
CVVA will need 4 Volunteers for the Registration Booth

6) Tribute Ceremony August 27th
10-15 Volunteers Assist with Concert staff on August 27th from 5pm-10pm

Every voice makes a difference, including mine and yours.

Have a great Monday. Thanks for letting me share!


p.s. Take 13 minutes today to see how you can make a difference by remembering and honoring.


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