(Sheridan, Wyo.) — As spring is fast approaching, the Volunteers of America in Sheridan is getting closer to an official unveiling of its Veterans Honor Garden. The VOA broke ground on the project in late fall and plans to complete the Garden this spring, with a dedication tentatively scheduled for May. Honorees and donations toward the project are currently being accepted, with the opportunity in place for people to honor a friend, loved one or current service member or veteran — living or deceased — with a name plate in the garden. The Veterans Honor Garden was originally conceived as a way to honor VOA former Board of Directors member Jim Norton, and all of the veterans the VOA serves, Skye Heeren of the VOA said. Norton was a veteran who fought in WWII, served at the Battle of the Bulge, was captured and was held as a German POW. "(He was a) really a remarkable guy. He spent his later years in Sheridan and was a community leader and advocate," Heeren said. The Sheridan VOA is the leading provider of veterans services, aside from the VA itself, in Wyoming and Montana, according to Heeren. "We wanted to create a space to honor all those men and women who we serve through our services – whether at the Sheridan Community Shelter (the homeless shelter), at our men’s and women’s treatment services, The Life House and the Gathering Place, through our veterans transitional program, Freedom Hall, or through our newly expanded Wyoming SSVF (Supportive Services for Veteran Families) program that extends throughout the state and has new offices in Sheridan, Casper, Riverton and Cheyenne," Heeren said. The project is remarkable in that it offers people the opportunity to honor a veteran who may still be living – where most other veteran recognition is solely for those who are deceased, she said. "We’ve already seen broad support from the Sheridan community, including a Team Depot grant through the Home Depot Foundation
, which also celebrates the services
of our veterans through various community service/partnership projects,"
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Facebook or go to their website
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*Feature photo/drawing and Jim Norton h/t Volunteers of America*