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Twenty Siouxland veterans whose stories and photographs are featured in the exhibit “Serving Her Country: Women in the Military” will be honored at an exhibit-closing event at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 13 at the Betty Strong Encounter Center. Admission will be free; a reception will follow.

Sioux City Journal Feature Writer Tim Gallagher and Chief Photographer Tim Hynds will present the program. Each “Serving Her Country” veteran, or a family member, will receive her portrait.

“Serving Her Country” opened at the Encounter Center in early November in cooperation with The Sioux City Journal. The exhibit was the culmination of The Journal’s 2017 veterans’ series “Serving Her Country: Women in the Military,” produced by newsroom staff.

“Sharing stories and portraits of Siouxland women in our armed forces was among the most humbling and important work reporters and photographers at The Sioux City Journal completed in the past year,” said Gallagher. “With a local history of military involvement dating back to the Civil War and beyond, we were honored to shed light on the blend of courage and patriotic duty offered by these women, many of whom dropped everything to treat the wounded, direct communications, move supplies, provide security and much, much more.”

At the Encounter Center, “Serving Her Country” has drawn thousands of visitors of all ages from Siouxland and beyond. “It has been a great honor for our Center to participate in raising awareness of the extraordinary contributions of Siouxland women who serve in our nation’s armed forces,” said Marcia Poole, director of the Center.

“Serving Her Country” comprises portraits by Journal photographers Tim Hynds, Jim Lee and Justin Wan. Exhibit text is drawn from stories by Journal staff writers: Alex Boisjolie, Dolly Butz, Mason Dockter, Tim Gallagher, Bret Hayworth, Earl Horlyk, Nick Hytrek, Ian Richardson and Ty Rushing.

“Creating this exhibit helped educate our staff,” Gallagher said, “and, hopefully, helped continue a discussion about the importance of remembering and honoring veterans who gave of themselves in service for others.”

Gallagher and Hynd’s illustrated program will explore stories and images in “Serving Her Country” and their impact on readers.

“It’s amazing how many people didn’t realize women were a vital part of our war effort. Readers have told us they were gratified to hear their stories and begin their own conversations with other female veterans. It has been a true honor for us to spotlight their achievements,” said Bruce Miller, editor-in-chief of The Sioux City Journal.

Thanks to The Journal website, readers also can hear the vets tell their stories: www.siouxcityjournal.com.

This is the third collaborative project mounted by The Journal and the Betty Strong Encounter Center to honor veterans. The “Thank You for Your Service” series and exhibit honored Vietnam veterans in 2015-2016. “Korea: Forgotten War Remembered” showcased portraits and stories of the 1950—1953 war in 2016-2017.