Two Dubois visitors for the evening at a former Clark County picnic some 8 years ago were Art Stevens, former WWII Veteran, and Jeffrey Forrey, both now of Salt Lake City, were in the area visiting Art’s friends and family. Art grew up in Clark County and was raised mainly in the Spencer area, the eldest son of the family of seventeen children of late Heber and Jesse Stevens.
Earlier on Thursday, Art, Jeff and Bonnie had enjoyed a guided tour of the U.S. Sheep Experiment Station, and visited the former homesteads of Art’s grandparents, the Otto Robbins and other relatives, of Humphrey.
As Jeffrey entered the Waring City Park with Bonnie Stoddard, they met Clarence Haight of Dubois. Clarence and Jeffrey suddenly realized both were wearing the same caps, representing the Midway Ships of 1972–1973 of the Vietnam War. Although these two 20-year Navy retirees were both among the same 5,000 Navy officers and sailors stationed at Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam from March 1972 until February 1973, they had never met until in Dubois.
Their group included six different aircraft carriers, each carrier was manned with separate guarding submarines, and cruisers. Yes, it had been 42 years ago, but they came together as neighbors remembering those crucial days they spent off the coast of Vietnam.
Needless to say, Jeff and Clarence shared many memories throughout the evening, as if they had known each other a lifetime. Clarence during the war was assigned to the flight deck and hanger bay, while Jeff worked with the engineering crew on the lower deck. Each crew worked 35 to 40 days and then went into either the Philippines or Hong Kong to spend some 10 days before going back on duty. One highlight Clarence recalls was the Bob Hope show the many servicemen enjoyed while in Singapore.
Today the Midway is preserved as a museum located off the Embarcadero Pier of San Diego. Jeff and his wife, each year, spend their winter months in San Diego, where Jeff volunteers as one of the Midway Museum tour guides.
Clarence noted the 58,000 casualties of the Vietnam war are listed on the National Monument Wall in Washington, D. C. He traveled to visit the unique traveling Wall when it was passing in various locations in Idaho. Three local young men among the casualties are also listed on this wall which include: Kenneth Small, Johnny Hurst and Daniel Williams.