Yes, Bob was there.
Now that that's out of the way, here's the rest of the story.
Last week Post Falls drew discernibly closer to landing a much-needed veterans home.
For many, interest went from tepid to tempest in the span of one My Turn column in the newspaper. Sen. Bob Nonini - or, more specifically, his wife - responded to a written request from Len Crosby for the good senator to attend an important meeting on the subject of the prospective veterans home, which veterans and other active citizens have been working toward for several years. Crosby was writing to Sen. Nonini as legislative chairman for American Legion Post 143 in Post Falls.
There's no need to replay the blow-by-blow of that exchange, but it did work wonders in alerting area residents to the much bigger picture: With 18,000 veterans in Kootenai County and many, many more of their relatives, we are an ideal place for a federally supported, 88-bed veterans home in the next three to five years.
Much to his credit, Bob was there at Tuesday night's meeting. Among the nearly 200 other people was a who's who of local officialdom.
Five of six members of the Post Falls City Council were there - Kerri Thoreson, Skip Hissong, Linda Wilhelm, Alan Wolfe and Betty Ann Henderson. Mayor Ron Jacobson was absent because he was out of town, but he sent a letter of strong support for the project. Former Mayor Clay Larkin was there.
Kootenai County Commissioners Todd Tondee and Dan Green were there. Commissioner Jai Nelson couldn't attend the meeting but she called Kerri Thoreson and expressed strong support.
Legislative Districts 2 and 3 were well-represented, with Frank Henderson, Luke Malek and Ron Mendive all in attendance. As noted, Sen. Nonini was there, too.
U.S. Sen. Jim Risch sent Sid Smith from his office. Karen Roetter represented U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo.
Veterans organizations attending Tuesday's meeting included American Legion & Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Marine Corps League, Disabled American Veterans, Submarine Veterans, Combat Vets Riders and Legion Riders.
If we've left out any elected officials or veterans groups, we apologize. But we hope you're seeing what we're seeing. This year, North Idaho lost out on a state-supported and desperately needed mental health crisis center. We lost because our state legislative delegation was nowhere close to united in its backing of the project.
Judging by Tuesday night's meeting, the foundation is being laid for a better outcome for our veterans. As Crosby told us: "It was a wonderful show of support from all facets of our community and North Idaho."
Let's stick together for this most important project.