WEST CHESTER (August 28) – Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 1777, recently presented a check for $10,000 to the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove organization outside Senator Dinniman’s West Chester District Office.

Buddy Rhoades, Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 1777, said the organization was honored to present the funds to the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove organization.

Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart: Dennis Kukulka, Thomas Wise, James Porreca, Bill Englerth, Jerry Banks and Commander Buddy Rhoades present $10,000 in grant funding to the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove. Pictured are Cory Etchberger (third from left), son of Medal of Honor Recipient Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger; Melissa Livingston Farkouh and family (second from left), daughter of Medal of Honor Recipient Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston; and Courtney Marm Finneran (far right), daughter of Medal of Honor recipient Retired Army Col. Walter J. Marm. Finneran’s son, Oliver, is being held by Senator Andy Dinniman (center).

Members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart: Dennis Kukulka, Thomas Wise, James Porreca, Bill Englerth, Jerry Banks and Commander Buddy Rhoades present $10,000 in grant funding to the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove. Pictured are Cory Etchberger (third from left), son of Medal of Honor Recipient Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger; Melissa Livingston Farkouh and family (second from left), daughter of Medal of Honor Recipient Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston; and Courtney Marm Finneran (far right), daughter of Medal of Honor recipient Retired Army Col. Walter J. Marm. Finneran’s son, Oliver, is being held by Senator Andy Dinniman (center).

 

Ceremoniously accepting the donation on behalf of the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove were the children of three Medal of Honor recipients: Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston; Retired Army Col. Walter J. Marm; and the late Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger.

Dinniman, who helped start the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove more than two years ago, said the community was deeply appreciative of the nonprofit organization’s efforts.

“We have come a long way in our work to save and restore the Medal of Honor Grove,” Dinniman said. “None of that would have been possible without the hard work of so many volunteers and the ongoing support of veterans groups like the Military Order of the Purple Heart.”

“I have no doubt that this generous donation will go a long way in the upkeep and maintenance of the historic memorial site,” he added.

The 52-acre Grove, located at the Freedoms Foundations headquarters, just off Route 23 near Phoenixville, is the nation’s oldest memorial site dedicated to Medal of Honor recipients.  It is divided into one-acre plots for each state, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. Each plot features an obelisk and metal plaques set in the ground, honoring Medal of Honor recipients dating back to the Civil War.

Dinniman became involved in this project in 2010 because the Grove had fallen into disrepair, and there were questions about its future. He worked to organize a massive community cleanup of the site that was attended by more than 1,000 local residents, students, families, veterans and volunteer organizations, including the Military Order of the Purple Heart, that fall.

As a result of the cleanup, local volunteers and Medal of Honor recipients came together to form The Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and maintenance of the site.

Since then, the Friends of the Grove group has organized several community cleanups of the site, raised significant funds for its upkeep and taken on a series of improvements, such as the addition of name plaques of Medal of Honor recipients that were damaged or missing.

For information about the Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove visit www.friendsmohgrove.org.

For more information contact Senator Dinniman’s District Office at (610) 692-2112, or e-mail acirucci@pasenate.com.

 

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