Purple Heart Plaques presented at Waffles for Warriors event

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Two Purple Heart recipients from two different wars were quietly honored this week at a Waffles for Warriors breakfast held at Support Siouxland Soldiers in Sioux City, Iowa. Josiah Swanson and Roger Allen were both presented with a plaque embossed with the Purple Heart in appreciation for their sacrifice in commemoration of Purple Heart day.

Separated by nearly 40 years, both were serving in the United States Marine Corps when they were injured.

Sioux City native, Roger Allen was injured near Hai Van Pass while serving in Vietnam. Josiah Swanson, also a Sioux City native, was injured in Iraq in 2006 on the road between Ramadi and Fallujah.

"I wasn't expecting this," said Swanson when presented with a plaque. "I just came for the waffles, this is really nice."

The plaque and few other items were presented by Sarah Petersen, founder of Support Siouxland Soldiers, a grass roots organization that has been in existence since 2007 and serves a four county area around Sioux City.

According to Petersen she started the organization when her husband was mobilized as a member of the Iowa Army National Guard's 113th Cavalry in Sioux City, Iowa.

Support Siouxland Soldiers continues to support members of all military branches.

"We send care-packages to deployed troops, provide free food baskets to Military families and Veterans, host bi-monthly events for all Military families, provide toys to Military children at Christmas and we provide emergency assistance grants to homeless Veterans," said Petersen.

Although the organization has been in existence for nearly 10 years, Petersen has only recently begun to draw a small, part time salary.

Petersen says all of the rest of the work is done by volunteers like those from Wells Fargo who helped make and serve waffles at the breakfast. Additional help comes from board members, like Chief Master Sgt. Barry Bower of the Iowa Air National Guard's 185th Air Refueling Wing, who recently joined with the organization and assisted with the Purple Heart plaque presentations.

Petersen says, Support Siouxland Soldiers has events occurring year-round and is always willing to assist current, separated and retired members of the military who need help.

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