Devotion

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In 2000 I seen a need to preserve and protect our state's history of past heroes of aviation and military wars. It was 2009 I established a not for profit called Weir Cook Memorial Project. In honor of Col. H. Weir Cook, WWI/WWII Ace combat pilot from the famous 94th Aero squadron Hat-In-The-Ring. Throughout the last 16 years of working with veterans and being active in Veterans organizations in and around Hancock County, Indiana I have been devoted to answering the call of many veterans, young and old alike seeking help. I am able to fulfill most of their requests with the resources I have available passed down from veterans from days gone by. Today my sights are set on developing a veterans center that accommodates the changing needs of today's younger active military and our veterans.

Personal mission is to see the Weir Cook Memorial Veterans Center built in order to continue Col. Cooks legacy for future generations. I have turned my sights on developing this Veteran’s Center in my home county of Hancock County Indiana hoping it will be a model for counties to follow in the future. I have laid out the details and have built a plan for success, building a road map that all the local Veteran’s groups can rally around and support. Weir Cook Memorial Project will take the lead as it is excellent at building consensus, and my hope is that by 2019 this Center is a reality. The downstream effect of my vision opportunity will help draw Veterans to our community and assist the ones here, and in the process, we will build a central facility that our community can be proud of.

Some of the people I have impacted, I have given them the opportunity and experiences that they can take with them to share with their family, friends. and other acquaintances. Starting with the young people producing a children's book sharing of Vietnam history to as big as having a high school have hands on building experience of Col. Cook full scale plane. Showing them even though they’ve been thrown a curveball that life sometimes throws at us that a home run can still be within reach. I hope to leave a positive impact on the people I’ve touched and reached out to our future veterans along the way. I know they have all left a huge impact on my life.

With Patriotic blood flowing deep within my veins and coming from a military family, I would have to say I feel a sense of service to help our veterans, by being devoted and dedicated The drive, compassion and stamina that it takes to follow through some of today’s problems is commendable. In today's society there is no easy quick fix only a slow and steady pace will see them through the tough times.

The donation would mean the beginning of a new vision and Col. H Weir Cook’s legacy for future generations. Currently the veterans organizations are scattered, have many duplicate and overlapping missions, are club-based as opposed to service-based and lack central information. By providing a dedicated center we can provide streamlined facilities, back-end support, information and a way to help the over 6000 Veterans in our county to have one place to go to meet their needs. War-fighting needs are changing. One Army Ranger or Navy Seal has the combined firepower of a Vietnam-era 450-man Infantry battalion. You can see this in the Veteran demographics in our county. What used to take 450 men to do, can now be done by a squad of six. The men and women who are returning from these combat deployments are bearing the brunt of what the old 450 did. So we have to develop the center for the future veteran, and we have very little time to make that happen. We used to do this through Service Clubs, but the numbers are not there to support that model moving forward. Times have changed and we’re in need of a new vision.

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