Hall of Honor preserves veteran stories

Image of people sitting in chairs and someone talking up front behind the podium in the Hall of Honor.

People gather at the Hall of Honor on Veterans Day 2013.

Veterans stories of courage and sacrifice shouldn’t be forgotten.

At UW-L’s Veterans Hall of Honor, located within the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex, these stories are preserved and always on display as part of a museum dedicated to veterans.

TV monitors on the walls provide a slideshow of war history and Wisconsin veterans via a touch screen.

Anyone can share information about a Wisconsin veteran to be part of the video slideshow. Send the service members’ name, rank, military branch and dates of service to the UW-L Foundation at foundation@uwlax.edu or call 877.895.3863. A photo and any additional information about their service and experience can only add to the story. This is a complimentary service.

Headshot image of Nick Dewhirst

Nick Dewhirst

Randy and Susan Dewhirst, of Onalaska, submitted information about their son Nick Dewhirst who was killed July, 20, 2008, when his patrol was ambushed in Afghanistan. Nick graduated from West Point with a degree in mechanical engineering and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was deployed in March 2008, and, despite a promotion to company executive officer, he wanted to be in the field with his troops. He would often volunteer to lead or accompany patrols, and died during one of these patrols.

Randy says Nick was proud to serve his country.

“Anytime that you lose a member of the military, you want to make sure that the public remembers the sacrifice they made,” says Randy.

Before the Hall of Honor was dedicated in September 2009, the previous stadium had plaques lining the walls with the names of veterans. However, the names were difficult to read, says Louis Ferris, a local veteran and member of the Hall of Honor committee. The monitors allow veterans’ information to be more visible and bring a more interesting and interactive component to the museum, says Ferris.

Ferris encourages people to stop by and see the Hall of Honor and learn about area veterans and their stories.

“The freedom we enjoy today was paid for by these people,” noted Ferris.

Veterans Hall of Honor hours are from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. UW-L’s Veterans Hall of Honor is located inside the entrance of the Roger Harring Stadium at the Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex. Admission is free.