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Daily Local News

Sponsor a Hero Program Given Donation to help ID Vets
November 27, 2012


WEST CHESTER – The Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove welcomed an $8,000 check from members of the Downingtown VFW Post 845 the Monday afternoon at state Sen. Andy Dinniman’s office in the borough. 

The check, donated to the Sponsor a Hero program, will allow the nonprofit organization to work towards its goal of adding the remaining names of missing medal of honor recipients into the grove, ensuring each individual receives the recognition. 

“It’s really a wonderful place and a tribute to all veterans, by honoring those who are recipients we honor all those who have worn a uniform past present and future,” said Wally Nunn, Chairman of the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove. 

Representing Post 845 was Post Commander Miguel Hernandez, Senior Vice Commander Len Gillespie, past commander Thomas Ames and Susan Hernandez, senior vice president of the Ladies Auxiliary Post 845. 

Miguel said the Post is glad to be giving the check to the organization as part of their commitment of giving back to the community. Miguel added he and the other post members are happy to see their money go towards a good cause and organization which will put the money directly towards improving the grove. 

“Our post is really interested in reaching out to all veterans past present and future and that’s how we are going to survive as a veteran organization,” Miguel said.

The 52-acre grove, located at the Freedoms Foundations headquarters, just off Route 23 near Phoenixville, is the nation’s oldest memorial site dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients. It is divided into one-acre plots for each state, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Each plot features an obelisk and metal plaques set in the ground, honoring Medal of Honor recipients dating back to the Civil War. 

In May, the names of 35 posthumous Medal of Honor recipients from Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq were added to the site. According to the Friends of the Grove organization, 180 names have yet to go on obelisks and 395 on ground plaques. 

The Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove formed out of cleanup efforts for the grove organized by Dinniman. Several community cleanups have been arranged since the organizations inception to ensure the grove is cared for and maintained. 

“To reflect back when the grove started years ago it went unkempt for a long time,” said Medal of Honor recipient General James E. Livingston. “This community really reengaged it and you can see it if you go out to the grove. I really appreciate it and I think it’s indicative of what veterans are. You never quit your commitment to the country and what we’re doing today is a demonstration of that commitment.” 

Follow Daily Local News staff writer Jeremy Gerrard on Twitter @JeremyGerrard.

2012 Year in Review