Q&A with Brad Anderson – Funding for the Veteran’s Wall of Honor


Q – What is the Veteran’s Wall of Honor?

A – “[The Veteran’s Wall of Honor] is designed to honor Forest Hills Central graduates that go on to serve in the armed forces. It is a collaboration between myself, Mr. Labenz, FASTSIGNS, which is owned by the Gilpins family, a Forest Hills Central family, and Freshwater Digital, which is also owned by a Forest Hills Central family. We’ve collaborated on this project, and it’s going to be a working, living display.”

Q – How much has this cost so far?

A – “We’ve been very fortunate. We had the PTO donate a large chunk of the cost for the initial veterans wall that has all the names and the dog tags on it. But, we still are still in need of 12,000 dollars. We currently have a Facebook fundraiser account that has done a really good job in the first few days, and it’s raised close to 5,000 dollars. We also have money coming in from the American Legion, the senior class from last year, and, of course, Freshwater Digital is donating some of the digital work that is going to be on the opposing wall. But, we still need the help of the community to make this possible. It’s expensive upfront, but it’s one of those displays that will be there in perpetuity. I mean, it’ll be there a long, long time and honor the ones that go on to serve.”

Q – Why would you say that this is important to our community?

A – “Well, you know, after a long enough time, we’ve become more and more disconnected as a society to those that go on to serve, unless somebody in your family or a neighbor goes on to serve in the armed forces. In generations past, for instance in 1965, Forest Hills Central seent upwards of about twenty young men to the armed forces. Now, granted it was the era of Vietnam and there was a draft so some volunteered and some were drafted, but now, out of a class of about 300 or so, there might be two or three. It’s not as, you know, prevalent for young men and women to go on and serve. But, that doesn’t diminish their sacrifice.

Basically— the people that sign up for the military—they’re writing a blank check with their lives. You know, ultimately when you think about it, if they were to go to war—if they were to serve overseas—they are putting their life on the line, and the people back home and their loved ones are also bearing a burden, right? Whether it’s their spouse, their children, their parents, brothers and sisters. And so, I think it’s important for us to never forget those sacrifices that military service members make, especially as high school students. A lot of the young men and women that are on that wall signed on the dotted line while they were still walking the halls here at Forest Hills Central, which is pretty profound.”

Q – How can the community give to this project?

A – “We can definitely use the community’s help and respect for this project. It’s ongoing display in our hallways, and to make sure it’s a first-class tribute to our service members, we are asking for donations from the community. However small, however large, anything is helpful. You can write a check to Forest Hills Central high school or you can go onto our FHC Veterans Wall of Honor Facebook fundraiser and donate there. It’s a secure payment through your credit card, and you can go on there and donate.”