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Veterans Take On Memorial Shrine Cleanup

Recently, a dedicated group of Parkview Health co-workers rolled up their sleeves for a special cleanup operation at Fort Wayne’s Veteran’s National Memorial Shrine and Museum (VNMSM), located at 2122 O’Day Road.

Members of Parkview’s Veterans Co-worker Resource Group (CRG) joined forces with family members and other Parkview co-workers from across the health system for the community service project.

In honor of Memorial Day, the Parkview Health Veterans Co-worker Resource Group, joined by members of the Huntington North High School Junior ROTC, volunteered to clean up at Fort Wayne’s Veteran’s National Memorial Shrine and Museum on O’Day Road.

Over two days, 37 volunteers contributed time and effort on a host of maintenance projects to tidy the shrine and museum grounds in preparation for the busy Memorial Day weekend. They washed the Vietnam War monument wall, thinned out vegetation, whacked weeds, picked up countless buckets of rocks, cleared away dead leaves from bushes, cleaned out gutters, dusted museum display cases and more. One 3-year-old girl got her first taste of volunteering while helping her mom wipe down benches.

“They were awesome! They got so much done, I couldn’t believe it!” said Bonnie Davis, VNMSM’s volunteer coordinator for the past three years. “We had a board meeting soon afterward, and the board members were just amazed at how much the group accomplished. It was just overwhelming to me.”

Davis noted the volunteers’ efforts were especially valuable because the group took on strenuous tasks that would be challenging for VNMSM’s small corps of volunteers, who range in age from their 60s to their 90s. The 44-acre property includes not only the monuments and memorials, but also the park, trails, and wooded areas.

Veterans CRG leaders Jesse Stanton, vice president, Supply Chain, Parkview Health, and Doug Selig, vice president, Patient Care Services, Parkview Huntington, and Parkview Wabash hospitals, led the charge on the volunteer project.

Giving their time and talents on the project was important to both men, for whom service to others remains a commitment well beyond their active-duty years. Stanton achieved the rank of specialist in the Army during his service from 1995 to 2003, stationed in Louisiana and in support of peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Selig served his country as a U.S. Air Force Captain in the nursing corps.

“It was remarkable for the group to come together to provide service to an area that holds a special place in all of our hearts,” said Stanton of the project. “I was very impressed with the number of memorials and the museum, knowing that the site is maintained by volunteers. This community is fortunate to have a location like this that pays tribute to our area’s rich history of service and sacrifice.”

Co-worker Resource Groups at Parkview The Veterans Co-worker Resource Group is one of several interest-based groups Parkview has created as part of its mission to build a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. Parkview’s CRGs aim to unite co-workers around topics of importance to them, such as veterans, working mothers and faith. The groups are meant to be a safe place to share honest feedback and build a sense of community among co-workers.

“The CRGs represent just one facet of our commitment to DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and our desire to support co-workers so they can bring their whole selves to work for the benefit of everyone,” said Hallie Custer, vice president of human resources at Parkview Health. “We’re proud that the Veterans CRG chose to take the initiative to organize this project to preserve and honor the legacy of those who have served our country. Their commitment exemplifies the values we hold dear at Parkview.”

The Waynedale News Staff
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