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Why We Celebrate Veterans

Nobody gives more for the country than our veterans.  While we all do the best we can, those who serve in our military risk everything to serve.  Putting life and limb on the line is a sacrifice not everyone can make.  Our family has always supported veterans.  This is because of our own family members, Floyd D. Hansen, helped to inspire some of veterans who served in the Air Force during World War 2.

Pioneer in Aviation

Veteran pilot Floyd HansenFloyd D. Hansen was one of the first aviators to come to Cache Valley.  An avid aviation enthusiast, he first became interested in planes when he witnessed a stunt show by barnstormer Tommy Thompson in the early 1920s.  In 1928, he came to Cache Valley with his wife and his first plane – an Alexander Eaglerock biplane.  There, he offered flights and demonstrations to locals to help build interest and support in flight.  This interest played a critical role in helping develop Logan Central Airport.

Inspiring WW2 Pilots

Floyd inspired many great aviators who went on to serve in World War 2.  One such individual was Chase Jay Nielsen, from Hyrum, Utah.  Nielsen joined the Air Force in 1939 after graduating from USAC with a degree in engineering.  As a member of the Air Force, he participated in the Doolittle Raid, crash-landing in Japanese-occupied China.  He was captured and held as a prisoner of war.  When he was finally able to return, Cache Valley held a parade in his honor.

Another pilot inspired by Hansen was Vernon Cooley.  Although he never majored in engineering, he did become an army chaplain, serving in the air force in in Italy.

Small Actions, Big Consequences

Cache Valley AviationEven though Hansen never actually served in the military – he was too old by the time the US became involved in the war – the role he played in inspiring aviators in Cache Valley made this area an important asset to the war efforts in the 1940s.  The inspiration for aviation that he instilled in others has had long lasting effects.  Just as the smallest course correction can mean the difference of hundreds of miles over long distance flights, the small actions of individuals can shape the direction of events for years to come.  Many great servicemen have been inspired by Hansen, or by the people who he initially inspired.

Supporting Our Veterans

Because of our connection, we have always respected our veterans, whether they serve in the air force or not.  It is because of him that we decided to start this charity race.  Our veterans today have many needs that we can help pay off.  Whether medical or therapeutic, they need our support and help.  Join us September 7th this year at the first annual Run The Bear honor series and support the people who protect and serve this country.

To learn more about Floyd and the history of Aviation in Cache Valley, visit the USU digital exhibit.  To register for the race, visit our home page.  If you’d like to help, but aren’t into racing, we also need volunteers to help set things up.  For businesses, we’re also looking for sponsors.  We, and the people we help, will appreciate your efforts.