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Portage recreates official Blue Star Park committee | Regional news - FlagSpin

Portage recreates official Blue Star Park committee | Regional news

Memorial Day Vietnam veterans (copy)

On behalf of fellow Vietnam War veterans Chris Schutz and Dennis Benson, two members of the newly appointed Blue Star Park Ad Hoc Committee, lay a wreath in May 2018 at the Blue Star Park monument commemorating 116 people from the Portage area who were killed in the line of military duty.

Lyn Jerde

A group dedicated to the success of Blue Star Park recently became an official Portage committee and has plans to put its ideas into action.

Dave DuVall of VFW Post 1707 is a member of the newly formed city ad hoc committee and said he has remained invested in the park since the group was unofficially formed in the mid-1990s.

“We want the park to continue to be dedicated, or a reflection, on the service of veterans from Portage and the Portage area,” DuVall said.

Members were officially appointed by the Portage Common Council during a meeting Jan. 14. DuVall said the people who make up the committee are active members in local veterans groups who can gain feedback from former service members in Portage. Dean Simonson, commander of the American Legion Post 47 is a member, as is Dennis Benson of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 221. Other members include Jeremy Duffy, Bob Gerhartz, Pat Hartley and Chris Schutz.

Tim Raimer, former Portage Parks & Recreation manager, was a part of the original group that formed around 1996. Raimer remembers being ordered to remove the old World War II memorial due to Highway 16 construction.

“We took the header off and the whole monument just collapsed,” Raimer said. They had hoped to relocate the memorial when it crumbled.

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Travis Burnett

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