Story plaques honor service men and women ahead of Veterans Day

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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU)-- Recognizing those who have served to protect our country, that's how most of us think of Veterans Day. But one organization is taking the commemorative day one step further.

Chippewa Manor in Chippewa Falls honored several service men and women, Thursday, just ahead of Veterans Day. But for the past seven years, the assisted living center has presented story plaques to veterans and their families.

“The plaque is really neat and it's just a brief summary of what we did. If you told all the stories, there wouldn't be quite enough room on there. It's really fantastic,” says veteran Bob Crosby, who believes these stories get the conversation started with soldiers and their families.

“The World War II guys, there's not too many of us left. I'm sort of amazed at how many we had here today. It was a good day,” says Crosby.

Reverend Robert Hoekstra says his plaque is hanging on the wall at Chippewa Manor. “A lot of times, families don't know what was involved in their mom or dad's service and when they read these stories and learn about things when they served, medals that were won, battles they were in. It's quite an eye opener for families. I showed it to my kids once and they said, 'wow you did all that?' and I said yeah, I did.”

Since 2009, Chippewa Manor has presented just about 100 plaques to area veterans.

“I think it's a healing thing for families. I think it's a healing thing for the veterans. In our macho American culture, a lot of these men come from the generation where you don't show your emotions. This helps to break the shell a little bit and begin the conversations,” says Hoekstra.

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