PHOTO BY TOM MCFARLAND Tom Carper, a member of Amtrak’s board of directors, helped to dedicate the memorial.
PHOTO BY MIKE MILBURN The plaque under the bell reads: “This Flag Trio and Floral Garden are made possible by the Employees and Management of the Amtrak Beech Grove shops. Dedicated this 18th day of September 2014 In Honor of Our Veterans. We Salute You!”
PHOTO BY TOM MCFARLAND Employees at the Amtrak facility took up a collection for the event and donated the funds to the Wounded Warrior Project. The check for $620 is being held by John Mellenbaugh (left), local chairman of the Transportation Communications International Union, and Bob Moriarty, plant manager. It’s being accepted by Tom Carper, a member of Amtrak’s board of directors.
In 2013 as members of the Locomotive Shop Leadership Team at Amtrak’s Beech Grove Maintenance Facility, Rob Boling and Tim Tumey, spearheaded the recruitment of volunteers from the shop to contribute funds for the design and construction of a veterans memorial.
That project has come to fruition as the commemorative area features flagpoles displaying Old Glory, an Indiana state flag and a prisoners of war flag. The poles are surrounded by a flower garden with walls adorned by medallions from all branches of the military.
The memorial also includes a bell with an accompanying plaque. The bell will be used to usher in a new tradition for employees as they will ring it on their first and last days of work.
The Indiana National Guard provided an honor guard that presented all three flags at the Sept. 18 dedication ceremony, which featured speeches by Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley and Tom Carper from Amtrak’s board of directors.
The guard also presented a skit titled “The Last Patrol,” in which four of the facility’s veterans participated: Joe Guthrie, Army; Mike Milburn, Navy; David Dykstra, Air Force; and Bob Duguay, Marines.
General Electric hosted a Hiring our Heroes job fair in front of the memorial after the dedication. The Department of Workforce Development and Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs were also on hand to help veterans with building their resumes and interview tips.
“I received tremendous feedback all day long from our sponsors, prospective employees, event organizers and our distinguished visitors,” said a board member. “Comments like ‘This is the best veterans hiring event we’ve ever been to,’ and ‘Your employees were the friendliest and most helpful they’d ever seen at any event like this’ were common.
“As I watched everyone helping to set up and clean up the area, I was struck by the incredible teamwork and pride everyone showed. I could not have been prouder.”