NORTH PLATTE -- Lt. Col. Oliver North will be in North Platte on Saturday as the keynote speaker for the Veterans Expo 2002 at the Sandhills Convention Center in North Platte.
Oliver North is a combat-decorated Marine, best selling author, former candidate for the U.S. Senate, host of a nationally syndicated radio show and host of FNC's War Stories. He claims his most important accomplishment as being "the husband of one and the father of four."
Assigned to the National Security Council staff in the Reagan Administration, North was involved in planning the rescue of 804 medical students on the island of Grenada and played a major role in the daring capture of the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro.
After helping to plan the raid on Muammar Quaddafi's terrorist bases in Lybia, North was targeted for assassination by Abu Nidal, the world's deadliest assassin. North graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland and served 33 years as a Marine. His awards for service include the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor and tow Purple Hearts of wounds suffered in combat.
The Expo will get underway at 8:30 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast. Opening ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m.
During opening ceremonies Jim Deken, U.S. Navy veteran from the Vietnam War era will portray Gen. George C. Patton. In addition, North Platte Boy Scout Troop 291 will present colors and winning essays from the 2002 essay contest will be read.
Entertainment will be provided by the Avi8ors, playing a variety of popular songs from the 30s and 40s.
At 11 a.m., Charlie Plumb, a former Prisoner-of-War will speak. After being shot down south of Hanoi in 1967, Plumb spent the next five years and nine months as a POW.
During his imprisonment, he distinguished himself among fellow prisoners as a professional in underground communication.
Booths and displays will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Informational booths will include the Veterans Benefits Administration, pharmacy issues impacting Veterans, Women veterans, POW/MIA, the Gulf War,, the Korean War, Agent Orange, diabetes research and pain management.
Chris Wagner of Wagner Ford Mercury will be donating transportation for Highland Park residents.
The event is sponsored by "One VA" -- VA Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration, National Cemetery Service and Central Plains Network University.