Cherokee, IA celebrates veterans, remembers Civil War - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Cherokee, IA celebrates veterans, remembers Civil War

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Folks in Cherokee, Iowa, had the chance to see some authentic Civil War weapons and clothing. Folks in Cherokee, Iowa, had the chance to see some authentic Civil War weapons and clothing.

Veterans' Appreciation Day usually brings a crowd to Cherokee, Iowa.

The emergency responders, veterans and reenactors come out in mass to the county fairgrounds. This year's theme is the Civil War

"You always talk about Afghanistan and Iraq, but you forget about what happened in the history of the United States," said Dana Evans, director of veterans affairs for Cherokee County.

"Our uniforms are as close to authentic as you can get," said Mardy Gulbrandson, a reenactor.

Even this horse is completely authentic, down to the minutest details. Everything, from the saddle down to the blanket, would have been issued by the military during the Civil War.

"Show them what the soldiers actually lived in, did, and wore and how they had to fight," said Mick Nesseia, a reenactor.

Former U.S. Army Reservist Sgt. Dylan Short moved from Nebraska back home to Cherokee in January. He was deployed to Iraq twice as a truck driver, and he's always loved learning about the past.

"I was a huge, huge World War II buff, Korea buff, I love military history," said Short.

But Short remembers how veterans from Vietnam and Korea weren't always treated as heroes.

"At the beginning of the war, it was the same. People did not agree with it. I can tell you from experience, when I first came back, on my first leave, I was spit on," said Short

When he meets with other veterans, they can share their struggles.

"It's hard for me to sleep some times. Which, I talk to a lot of other vets, some of them agree that the sleeping is the hardest part, loud noises scare me like there's no tomorrow," said Short.

So, every gesture of appreciation is helping folks like him heal.

"To everyone that has come up to me and thanked me, thank you so much, it means a great deal to me and vets all over," said Short.

And organizers wouldn't have it any other way.

"If it wasn't for the veterans, we wouldn't have the freedom that we have today," said Evans.

Organizers say they have themes laid out for the Veterans Appreciation Day through 2019. Next year's theme will be to look back at World Wars I and II.

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