SME grad, Iraq vet brings stories of armed service to Third Thursday

Sam Dodge graduated from Shawnee Mission East in May 2005. By December, he was in Iraq.

The Prairie Village native spent a year in the Army’s 4th Infantry division as a Specialist, “looking for bad guys” in a Hummer unit in Taji, a settled area some 25 miles north of Baghdad. Dodge, who used to work at Euston’s Hardware, was on hand Thursday night as part of the “Salute our Troops” Third Thursdays event along Tomahawk Road, where he had a slideshow set up on a computer with some of his pictures from Iraq.

Dodge is currently enrolled at Kansas State University, and will be getting his degree in finance next year.

The event also featured a Marine color guard (pictured above), as well as a table where people could write post cards thanking members of the armed forces for their service.

More photos after the jump.

There was plenty of food and drink to be sampled, as always. Boulevard Brewery senior brewer Jeremy Danner set up shop at Rimann’s Liquors to pour samples of their Pilsner, Amber Ale, and Two Jokers Double Wit. (For what it’s worth, this blogger was especially partial to the Two Jokers):

There were also a number of vendors along the sidewalks, including local artist Mary Burger who had some of her original pieces on display outside of Haught Style Boutique…:

…as well as member of the young entrepreneurs club, a program of the Front Porch Alliance. Youth who participate in the summer program come up with a business plan, and then apply for a small loan to get their idea off the ground. Some of the products on display on Thursday included framed art and herb gardens: