Soldier finally comes home

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On April 30, 2011, Sgt. First Class Donald "Donnie" Shue, an Army Green Beret, came home to Concord, N.C. Thousands of people lined the city's Main Street to welcome him home.

Shue was just 20 years old when he went missing on a Nov. 3, 1969, mission 30 miles inside Laos, near Ban Chakevy Tai in Saravane Province. His remains were found two years ago by a U.S. recovery team and confirmed recently.For over two decades Paul Coy of Post Falls has worn a POW bracelet with Sgt. Shue's name. Paul contacted me in September 2009 when I wrote a column about the number of Vietnam soldiers still unaccounted for ... more than 1,700. Main Street readers ordered nearly 100 bracelets in support of the National League of POW/MIA families back then.

In 2009 Paul had lost his bracelet during a hunting trip and replaced it with another bearing Sgt. Shue's name. Paul served in the USAF from 1960-64. His father served with General Patton at the Battle of the Bulge and was wounded in action in 1944 in Luxembourg. Paul Coy is a veteran and a patriot and a man who never forgot a soldier he'd never met.Sgt. Shue would be 62 years old today. A lifetime lost but not without being remembered every single day. Welcome home Sgt. Shue, and a sincere thank you to Paul Coy and all who wear the silver bracelets in honor of those yet to come home.

***I've never been involved in any Guinness World Record attempt but on Saturday morning I can cross that off my bucket list. Immediately following the Jordan Johnson Memorial Fun Run at the Greyhound Park, right about 10:30 a.m., the Boys and Girls Club of Kootenai County is hoping to have about 3,000 people show up to eat free ice cream, provided by the Idaho Dairyman's Association, on cue. Fun and free, bring the family and your neighbors! Call 457-9089 for more info on the fun run and the world record attempt.

***The Diamond Cup Hydromaniacs are back! The re-invigorated group of boosters boast many members who as youngsters enjoyed hanging out in the pits in the 1960s when the big boats raced on Lake Coeur d'Alene. Now the group is dedicated to re-introducing the public to the place the hydros occupy in the Lake City's history, fittingly raising money and awareness for a new Museum of North Idaho.

On Saturday at the Coeur d'Alene Eagles the group is holding a barbecue dinner and silent auction. The West Slope Barbeque Association will have their cookers out front all day and at 5 p.m. the doors open. Check out Diamond Cup memorabilia and hear about upcoming summer events. www.diamondcup.org

***Happy birthday today to Vicki Isakson, Jeanne Helstrom, Amy Corbett, Tom Haskin and Tom Ball. Tomorrow Laura Stensgar, Tom Lien, Tammy Rupinski, Rick Nowoj and Alison McArthur will celebrate. On Friday John Goedde, Jeannie Wood, Lindsay Herbert, Kandy Tenney and Billie Sue Gross are blowing out their candles. Jessica DeHaan, Cater Hamby, Dick Epstein, Pam Freeman and K.V. Nelson will mark their special day on Saturday. Michelle Fehling Purcell turns 50 on Sunday, sharing the date with Fred Glisson and Jonathan Larson. Cathyanne Nonini, Denise Durflinger, Joel Riner, Margie McGaughey, Rebecca Moore, April Needham and Susan Ballinger start the week out with birthdays. On Tuesday Cliff Hayes turns the big 6-0, sharing his birthday with Adam DeLuca, John McHugh, Amy Moffat, Shirley Galloway, Kasey Short and David Atwood.

Congratulations to future rockers Colby Acuff and Hayden Spivey/ExcuZed Absence for winning the Battle of the Bands at Timberlake High School last Friday. The teens are involved with Cd'A Rock School and have played together since 2009. I've had the pleasure of seeing Colby perform and want to include him on my short list, along with Aaron Baldwin, of young local artists who have big futures in store.***

Friday the 13th was unlucky for a little squirrel crossing Dalton Avenue without looking both ways. Jeanne Helstrom gave the creature a proper disposal and then on a whim drew a chalk outline on the street. At least one motorist passed by while she was wielding the chalk.***

THERE'S MORE: New stories and photos almost every day at More Main Street. There's a link also for adding your birthday to the Main Street Birthday Club!***

Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. She was voted Best Local Writer for 2010 by the readers of the North Idaho Business Journal. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press. More Main Street blog is at http://moremainstreet.blogspot.com. Listen to Main Street Monday on KVNI AM1080. Kerri can be reached at mainstreet@cdapress.com

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