FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The recipient of the sixth annual Linda and Jerry Vandeveer Impact Award has been announced by the board of directors.
The board has chosen the Veteran’s National Memorial Shrine and Museum due to its work in renovating and restoring its facilities as well as bringing a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Wall to northeast Indiana. The award was presented Thursday by the award’s namesake, Jerry Vandeveer, and the Allen County Board of Commissioners.
“The board was recognized for its ongoing project to completely restore and improve the museum which had fallen into disrepair due to water damage and flooding,” the board of commissioners said.
The museum houses over 2,000 donated artifacts from the American Revolutionary War to the most recent war in Afghanistan. Future plans include a new Sterling Chapel, an expansion of the current museum, a Columbarium to memorialize veterans and a walk-path through the history of war.
“The average age of my board is 72/73. They are all combat war veterans from Vietnam. I have one Korean War veteran that I believe is 86-years-old. So, the time that they spend out here and devote to this project is heartfelt for them. It’s a lot of hard work… but they work tirelessly,” said Greg Bedford, commander of the Veteran’s National Memorial Shrine and Museum.
The shrine’s board of directors received a personal plaque commemorating the award. The board’s name was also included on a permanent plaque that is kept in the commissioners’ office. In addition, board members received checks totaling $550 from Fire-Police City-County Federal Credit Union which is handling a special account established by an anonymous donor for recipients of the award.