Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

Senator John Barrasso presents 'Meritorious Mast' to Vietnam Veteran


Victoria Smithey/Pine Bluffs Post

Above left: Marti Mace, member of the American Legion and bagpipe player performed for the ceremony, Lupe Vargas, Herman Vargas - 'Meritorious Mast' recipient with Senator John Barrasso, and Louis Laboray.

Several veterans were joined by Senator John Barasso this weekend as the Donald Eisenhauer American Legion Post 60 celebrated a brick laying ceremony recognizing the time and sacrifice that many of them made during their lives.

"Wyoming is unique in that cowboys never quit, and cowboys never complain, and neither will the United States Military. They will never let us down" stated the senator in his opening remarks to those in attendance. Barrasso shared many of the unique experiences of his father and other members of his family during their time of service and gave each veteran in attendance a coin to celebrate their achievements. Senator Barrasso was then tasked with awarding the Meritorious Mast award to Vietnam Veteran Herman Henry Vargas. Vargas was awarded outstanding achievement awards time and time again, but it was at this ceremony, forty-six years after his service that Vargas was finally recognized for his faithful service to his country.

State Legion Commander Mike Cooke was also in attendance and offered a few words of encouragement to the veterans and their families. "For my first visit to Pine Bluffs, I can't think of a better reason to be here to help honor our veterans. The pride the Cowboy State has for our men and women in uniform has never been stronger and it's heartwarming" stated Cooke. While Cooke recognized the challenges that the nation is facing currently, he was confident that Wyoming's men and women in uniform would continue to rise to the expectations in front of them.

Victoria Smithey/Pine Bluffs Post

Above: Bagpipe player, Marti Mace, performs taps and other military hymns.

The ceremony commenced with the placing of the bricks for those who were no longer with us whether losing their lives in service to their country, or many years later. Marti Mace played Taps on her bagpipes as the final bricks were placed in the memorial and Commander John Wise proceeded to award the bricks for those that were still living. Many tears flowed as family members and service members placed their bricks into the memorial and a barbecue was held afterwards at the post to continue to celebrate those in attendance.

During the COVID pandemic there has been little opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of hard-working Americans, and it was a breath of fresh air to be able to join for something other than the virus. In speaking with Senator Barrasso afterwards, he reiterated the importance of the upcoming election and the current direction and atmosphere of the country. "We want to make sure that we have superiority in every sense of the word, technological, military, and all of the approaches so that we stay ahead of everything. The upcoming election is vital. If President Trump doesn't get re-elected, we could be in trouble. That's why I am spending my time to ensure that that doesn't happen" said Barrasso.


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