Valiant Veterans

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Tyler Dernulc (11) raises the American flag. Dernulc brought a 1944 Ford GPW Military Jeep that was made in World War II for the participants of the race to view.

Shannon Hearne

For months, the Tri-Town Safety Village and its correspondents have been planning a veterans 5K/10K walk/run. The proceeds have been arranged to benefit the building of the Tri-Town Safety Village Veterans Museum that will be built in Schererville. The event was held on Saturday, May 23. Registration and packet pickup opened at 7:00 a.m. and the event began at 8:00 a.m. Samantha Bredar (9) came out to sing the national anthem before the race.

“I sang the national anthem because I believe that the race is for a good cause. The veterans run was a very honorable event. I was super excited to sing,” Bredar said.

While no pets were allowed, the Safety Village openly welcomed children and their families to take part in the walk/run. Brandon Neff (11) was one of the many runners who took part in the race.

“I came out today to support the veterans and help fund the veterans museum. The run could have been better, but the great day made up for that. When I crossed the finish line, it felt great to know I am making a change by putting myself in more activities for the community,” Neff said.

After the race, former LC student Doug DeVries gave a speech on how the Vietnam Files started, which caused LC students interest in history to grow – eventually resulting in the formation of this race.

“Today I am speaking about how the whole project got its origins. About thirty years ago, when LC was Dyer High School, I  witnessed young men graduate, be drafted, and sent off to Vietnam. They died over there in combat and I thought that it might be an interesting question to pose as to why there were memorials for Dyer citizens that had passed in WWII and Korea but nothing for the soldiers who went to Vietnam. Mr. Clark and I got together and found two young men, then five, from the Tri-town area who had passed in service. My senior year, we researched and met the families of each of those men. We interviewed them and put up a memorial that stood for for years in the old high school foyer,” Mr. DeVries said.