De Pere, Wis. (WFRV) – “We developed the monument concept, and we took the concept of it takes a family to raise a child into the service,” said Randy Hansen, U.S. Army vet and treasurer VFW Post 2113.

For 60 years, a monument honoring veterans stood in De Pere next to the public pool.

But as the new VFW Aquatic Facility plans were put into motion, the monument crumbled.

So U.S. Army Vets and VFW Post 2113 members Randy Hansen and Pat Moran took action.

“It was something that we needed to do. There isn’t really a monument of any type in the city of De Pere honoring all veterans,” Moran recalled.

And Post 2113 got together with the help of the city and two local sponsors to raise $16 thousand for a brand new monument. 

But it’s the meaning behind that monument that makes it unique.

“We know that no matter where a unit is deployed, to get to do their mission- whether it’s fighting or support or whatever, the bullets, the beans, the supplies, everything else comes by ship through the merchant marines, the maps come from NOAA, sometimes the doctors and nurses come through the public health service,” Hansen explained. “So, using that concept we designed that monument around; It takes a family,” he said.

Both Hansen and Moran were just kids years ago, raised by their families and brought into the military to serve their country.

Now, they hope this monument is a reminder of not only those who made the ultimate sacrifice, but those who support the men and women who risk their lives for our country.

“The veterans when they go there, they can look at it and say, ‘Oh, there’s my service,’ and that sort of stuff. Maybe they can reminisce a little bit about being in the service and remember and that sort of stuff. Hopefully it’s a talking point and a gathering place,” said Moran.

“There are veterans in the community, they’re your next-door neighbors, they’re your grandparents, they’re your uncles, your brothers, your sisters, and if people recognize that, they’ll support the needs of the veterans and the needs of the community a lot better,” Hansen said.