Buckeye students assist with preparations for arrival of Vietnam Traveling Wall

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Buckeye students fill sand bags to help stabilize the Vietnam Traveling Wall.

Members of the Buckeye Career Center Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning, & Refrigeration program put their hands and backs to work today in preparation for the arrival of a traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall.

The New Philadelphia VFW Post 1445 is the host location of the AVTT traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall, which will be on display Thursday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day) through the weekend.

Prior to the wall’s arrival, 22 HVAC-R students filled and placed over 200 bags of sand that will be used to level the wall and support its brackets. “We asked if they would come help with some of the manual labor because most of the guys you see here are veterans who are 50, 60, 70-years old,” commented Post Chaplain Jerry Chenevey, who also happens to own the 2019 Buckeye student-built home.

“They’ve been a godsend. When 22 students showed up this morning to help, we were thrilled because that is a lot of work,” said Chenevey.

The actual wall was scheduled to arrive after students could help, but HVAC-R instructor, and U.S. Air Force and Army veteran, Todd Vandeborne couldn’t pass up the opportunity to help his community and fellow veterans.

“Veterans are a band of brotherhood and we’ll do anything for living and past veterans,” commented Vandeborne.

Seeing his students work together to help others was also a highlight of the day.

“The kids showed a willing to work hard. They filled over 200 sandbags in a hurry and didn’t complain one bit. I couldn’t be prouder of them,” he said.

According to Chenevey, the traveling wall includes the names of more than 58,000 veterans, is 380-feet long, and is 80% of the size of the actual Vietnam Memorial Wall, which sits in Washington, D.C. The tribute will also have additional panels to honor the lives of those lost as recently as August 26, 2021, in Kabul, Afghanistan. The wall will be open 24-hours-a-day from 1:30 p.m. Nov. 11 through 3 p.m. Nov.14. Visits to the wall are free and open to the public. The New Philadelphia VFW Post 1445 is located at 441 Park Ave NW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.

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