The Veteran’s History Project

Saving Private Ryan inspired Brad Schmitz to plant a tree to honor veterans in 2001. However, after visiting a gravesite in Holland for 8000 U.S. servicemen who gave their lives in World War Two, he wanted to do more. One particular grave from his home state of Idaho, Private Herbert Ronk, stood out to Schmitz. Research and inquiries provided no further information about Ronk. “I’ve asked myself over the years of who I would call my hero,” Schmitz said. “One is Captain Miller [played by Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan]. Everyone loves Captain Miller. But it’s Herbert Ronk, it’s this private who died thirty years before I was born, who’s the real hero. He’s a man I never knew, but he’s this legend in my mind and in my heart because of what he stood for.”

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A Life of Tenacious Service

Col (ret) Suellyn Novak has always been known for her tenacity. It will be a trait that is sorely missed as she steps down, for a good reason, from her position on December 31 as the president and executive director of the Alaska Veterans Museum (AVM). Under her leadership, AVM won numerous awards like the Seymour Award (2014) for best community organization and the Dena’ina Award (2015) for the best non-profit team organization in Anchorage. AVM has also been featured in five magazine articles and contributed to the recent “Deadliest Catch: A Hillstrand 4th of July” holiday special on the Discovery Channel.

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Summer Vacation Bible School Creates Community for Kids

McConihay believes that parents should mark their calendars for Vacation Bible School since it creates a community for children and helps grow their faith.

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