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White River Electric Association was the first to donate to the Veterans Memorial fund earlier this year and the donation was made in honor of its general manager Dick Welle (left), a United States Navy veteran. Welle was recently presented with a 13-inch maquette of the proposed Veterans Memorial by Rio Blanco County Veteran officer Joe Dungan. Welle served in the U.S. Navy from 1969-1973 during the Viet Nam War and was at service for more than three and a half years, serving on three different ships, all destroyers. Welle completed two tours in the South China Sea and according to Dungan, the 1972 tour was notable. Welle’s ship served as close support on the Qua Viet River where he participated directly in combat actions and was awarded the Navy Achievement medal with Combat V (for Valor). Dungan thanked Welle for his service to his country, community and the V.F.W. organization.