Hilton to host national veterans convention

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The national Forty & Eight veterans organization will hold its convention in Vancouver from Sept. 13-17.

The 92nd annual Promenade Nationale will be at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St.

About 600 people are expected to attend the convention, which is co-hosted by Clark County’s Voiture 99 chapter and the Washington state Forty & Eight organization.

Events will include recognition of this year’s award winners. The “Hero of the Year” award will go to Corey T. Cummings, of Shreveport, La. As a probationary firefighter, Cummings — an Army veteran — rescued a 2-year-old child from a house engulfed in flames.

The “Law Officer of the Year” award will go to Sheriff Jeffrey J. Dawsy, of Citrus County, Fla. He led the investigation of the 2005 abduction, rape and murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford. Her death led to the enactment of “Jessica’s Law” to monitor sexual predators of children.

Forty & Eight is a society of about 50,000 wartime veterans. It was founded in 1920 by American World War I veterans. The French railroad theme reflects the soldiers’ WWI experience of traveling to the front in boxcars with “40&8” logos; it meant that a boxcar had room for 40 men or eight horses.

The society has supported several charitable programs since 1923, and has recently become part of a fund that supports military personnel injured in Afghanistan and Iraq.