Posted by Beth Seibert
Our PolioPlus auction and a tribute to Veterans Day highlighted Monday's Rotary meeting.
Member Derek Stemen set the stage for the PolioPlus auction today. Rotary International has been engaged in eradicating polio across the globe for 40 years and only three countries have active cases – so this goal is well within our lifetime. Nine items were generously donated by various members and as a result, generated a total of $1,245.  This brings the total raised for Polio Plus in the club this year to $3,878 which puts us to 78% of our goal. Thanks to auctioneer Andy Farley, ring-man Keith Horner, and all the generous bidders and buyers!
In honor of Veterans Day, member Jeff Tracy presented “My Asian Vacation," denoting his tour of duty as a Vietnam veteran. Jeff recited the military oath he took 50 years and 7 days ago, which happened to occur on his father’s birthday. Reflecting on the coincidence of that, he added that his first day in Vietnam was on his mother’s birthday. In 1968 he graduated high school and enrolled in college at the University of Montana. On April 1, 1969 he left school, with $70 in his pocket, and spent 63 days traveling the country and visiting other college campuses – because quite frankly that’s where young people were easily welcomed. Jeff noted the turbulent times in America during that era. When he got home the Army draft was waiting on him. Jeff vividly recalled for the audience his tour of duty in an Army transportation company. Here are some of the statistics he shared: 
•    2.7 million served in Vietnam, and that represented 9.7% of their generation
•    25% of those serving in Vietnam were draftees
•    There are fewer than 850,000 Vietnam vets still living, and they are dying at a rate of 390 per day (2016 data
Jeff spoke with intense pride on being a Vietnam Veteran. But he admitted that he struggled with a bad attitude about the reception returning Vietnam vets experienced.  He harbored a wave of resentment toward veterans that subsequently came home until an unexpected meeting with a stranger four years ago – a four-year-old girl. Jeff closed by saying that he believes that if you live long enough all good things come to you eventually and how that little girl changed his life. Thank you, Jeff for your service to our country!