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The Adams County Record
Council, Idaho
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June 13, 2012     The Adams County Record
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June 13, 2012
 

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Page 10 Wednesday, June 13, 2012 The Adams County Record Community Spotlight Don't Hold Back By Deb Wilson "Tell me when to be afraid;' Beth ]ones recalled murmuring after her 707 zigzagged to a halt on the Saigon airfield in Vietnam. Soldiers quickly hustled her off the plane to safety. It was 1968, and she spent 18 months as a. Red Cross social worker there during the height of the Vietnam War. "Everything was unreal;' she disclosed. "Even the R & R was unreal:' There was little relief from the devastation of the Southeast Asian conflict. Her job was to assist the soldiers with counseling and support. She made her rounds in the thickly humid air where it could reach 130 degrees by 8 am; twelve hours on, twelve hours off, never knowing when or if sleep would come. "I'd inade a commitment;' she said, and gratefully recalled how she'd been able to go to Mass everyday in the chapel behind the Red Cross building. Snipers and rockets fired from both sides, and periodically the Viet Cong shot out the water pump on the only water supply. For weeks she would have to drink and wash out of stored metal cans. On one particularly horrendous day she huddled 6 hours under a trailer as a sniper opened fire. She still remembers the simple kindness of a chaplain who brought her a hamburger afterward. "I thought if I it (the war) maybe l could understand;' she remembered. But she still didn't. Her biggest frustration was coming home to a land of know- it-alls who had their own ideas of what happened over there. She suffered through nightmares and flashbacks. She still misses the sound of planes landing; it gives her security. "I love the sound of a motor," she laughed. Later, while attending graduate school, an internship at a Dallas child guidance center teamed her up with Vietnam veteran doctors. "We'd sit out back during a smoke break and talk about it;' she said. "Venting was the best therapy in the world" She got through it. Beth was tough. She'd been born in Boise, but her family moved to Seattle after Pearl Harbor. Her dad had been in the Army Air Corps during WWI. "My dad had no respect for authority," she grinned, "but he had a great sense of humor." His role model likely accounts for her own irreverent humor; his encouragement strengthened her resolve to be her own person. Sadly, she lost both her parents during high school, and became an emancipated youth before she graduated. Schooled by inspirational Catholic nuns, she learned to "reach higher" and think ahead. A licensed beautician by the time she entered college, she studied sociology, social work and philosophy. The Red Cross snatched her up for. social work, where she started at the San Francisco Army hospital in 1966. Her volunteer work with the casualties of the hippie Haight-Ashbury district installed huge disrespect for anyone who wants to make illegal drugs legal. After Vietnam, she completed graduate school, earning a Master's in Social Work, and then returned to the Red Cross for several years. Working in San Diego, she met Scott on a blind date. An Air Force officer, he met her at her doorway with a rose in hand and immediately caught her attention. He'd been born in 1943, "a WWII souvenir army brat" as he likes to put it, and had grown up all over the country. His dad retired as an Army survived, and Scott and Air Corps Major. Working Beth celebrated their 30th in communications, wedding anniversary this Scott had been stationed in Japan assisting in the first installation of computers in the Far East. Then in Sacramento he'd helped oversee the large communications hub for Southeast Asia. Seeking more adventure, he volunteered for munitions management and explosive ordinance disposal training. He had asked to go to Vietnam, but was shipped to Turkey instead. "Nothing exciting ever happened;' he complained. "Everything happened before or after I tried to get there: Scott had returned to the Air Force after completing a degree in Forestry. He was a widower with three children when he met Beth, and three years later they married. Lee, 12, Kim, 11, and Jeff, 10, had a new mom, and sometimes sparks flew. Beth worked a number of jobs, everyone year. Tighter environmental controls on timber harvest reduced jobs in the 1980% and left Scott unemployed for two years, after he had struggled through graduate school in Forestry. In frustration, he returned to military work, first for the Air Force civil service and later for the Texas Air National Guard. He loved working with aircraft and munitions maintenance, a n d developed tremendous respect for the Air NationaJ Guard. Transferred to a missile squadron in Cheyenne, he . oversaw ground maintenance around the ICBM missile sites in Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska. After 9-11, he'd had enough, and retired after 22 years in uniform, Scott had brandished other era uniforms along the way as well. In Texas, the former Explorer Boy Scout joined a muzzle- loading club and learned to build his own guns. He joined in realistic re-enactments of Texas revolutionary battles like the Alamo. "I got killed there for 10 years straight; he related. The re-enactors started a Living History Group for school students, and wowed them with authentic equipment and flint and steel fire ignition. In Wyoming he continued re-enactments, this time as the 1868 Indian Wars Infantry. Today his grandfather's muzzleloader hangs on his wall, along with his American sword collection. Scott dons his 3rd Maryland Continental Regiment Infantry uniform to march in the Council 4th of July parade. Scott and Beth moved to Council 7 years ago after retirement. They live with their dogs Sunshine and Sir Walter Raleigh overlooking Council Valley, with panoramic vistas and their carefully planted trees all around. Active officers of the Lions Club, they build wooden toys and sponsor fundraising to Support local eyesight programs. Scott is treasurer of the NRA, and a member of the American Legion. Active as the American Legion Auxiliary vice president, Beth ensured that all veterans, buried in Council had flags posted on their gravesites for the recent Memorial Day. They're hoping new entrepreneurship can keep Council afloat. Scott referenced the energetic efforts of his youngest son Jeff in Las Vegas, who Creates one hopeful enterprise after another. "Don't hold back;' they emphasized. Sooner or later one of them will succee& Cascade Real Estate Auction Saturday, June 16th, 2012, 2pm Estate Auctions Starts at 11:00. vl 432 Hartley Rd., Cascade Great mountain 9et-a-way, walking distance to Cascade Lake! 4 Bdrm/2 Bath 2,268 sq/ft Nice Kitchen/Dining .99 of an acre Living Rm/Family Rm Attached 2 Car Garage Go to Downsauction.com for complete details and terms. !:) I;3W -a=t A I_11;3TI 1:3 N