Missouri’s National Veterans Memorial recognized those who contribute a lot to keep the memorial up and running with their valuable time and without expecting much in return.
The memorial held its first Volunteer Recognition Ceremony Thursday to celebrate eight volunteers who have donated at least 500 hours of their time at the memorial since it opened in 2018.
“One thing that has stood out to me since I got here, other than the beautiful monument, the healing, and the reflection, is the volunteers.” MNVM Executive Director Rae Lynn Munoz said. “They have been very patient with me as I learn my new role and with the constituents that come in every day. Our volunteer’s time is invaluable and we would not be able to have what we have here without them.”
MNVM currently has 35 active volunteers filling nearly all shifts each month. Last year, the memorial had over 4,500 hours of time donated through activities including staffing the welcome center and museum, greeting visitors, preparing our newsletter for mailing twice, serving veterans breakfast, assisting with correspondence, decorating and undecorating, preparing for events, delivering Christmas gifts to area veterans, and much more.
MNVM Operations Coordinator Deanna Kluender said that she hopes they can have a similar ceremony every year going forward.
Kluender recognized eight volunteers this year and those included:
Herschbach started volunteering at MNVM in August 2018. She was one of the first volunteers at the newly opened memorial. She is passionate about veterans and brings first hand experiences to the memorial as the wife of a Vietnam veteran/purple heart recipient. She is very flexible and open to any position needing filled and is always a terrific help in the gift shop, prepping items for stocking. Rosie has been one of the elite tour guides since September 2019. To date, Rosie has volunteered 613.75 hours at MNVM.
Abernathy started volunteering at MNVM in September 2018. She brings her passion for veterans to the memorial as the wife of a Vietnam veteran who has been inducted in the “In Memory” Program. She is a meticulous and thorough clerical worker who can be counted on to be here every Tuesday morning to work on mailings and filing. She can also be counted on to volunteer at events both on and off site. To date, Janet has volunteered 742 hours at MNVM.
House started volunteering at MNVM in September 2018. She is passionate about veterans and research. She has contacts in DC and keeps us up-to-date on changes and additions to the Wall as well as happenings at the Wall in DC. House is the volunteer trainer. All potential new volunteers must go through a four-hour training with her as she walks them through visitor interaction, safety, expectations, and the wealth of information she knows about the Wall and its stories. A person can consistently find House staffing the gift shop every Monday, an occasional veterans breakfast, and helping Wilma on the weekends with printing envelopes for mailings. She has been one of our elite tour guides since February 2019. To date, she has volunteered 1855.25 hours at MNVM.
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