Having the “Remember Our Fallen” exhibit in Klein Hall in Chippewa Falls has special significance for Army veteran Rich Munkholm and Marine veteran Remius Parker.
“It’s something I wish we could have here permanently,” said Parker. And Munkholm said it is a honor and privilege to see the photo exhibit.
The exhibit from The Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville shows Wisconsin soldiers killed during the War on Terror, those soldiers who died in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The exhibit is open to the public at Klein Hall, 2820 E. Park Ave., Chippewa Falls, during business hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Klein Hall is on the campus of the Northern Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled.
Klein Hall is home to the Wisconsin Veterans Housing and Recovery Program, designed to help homeless veterans transition to a new life. Mike Hanke, the director of the program, said the program is at capacity with 42 veterans. It has a per diem grant to help 30 veterans, and 10 others veterans rent rooms at Klein Hall. Two other veterans who are not yet enrolled are also staying there.
Hanke, a former Chippewa Falls City Council member, said all of the veterans in the program have a secondary education, and many have bachelor of arts degrees. The veterans average having over a year in college.
“That homelessness in the veterans community is still a very strong issue,” Hanke said.
The Remember Our Fallen exhibit was last seen in the area at the Chippewa Falls Public Library in May 2016.
For Parker, the exhibit has special meeting. He served during the Gulf War, and lost buddies because of “friendly fire,” soldiers killed by mistaken gunfire by friendly troops.
“It brings back a lot of deep emotion,” Parker said.
Hanke said if the weather is good, the exhibit will be taken to the Riverfest celebration at Allen Park in downtown Chippewa Falls on Saturday, Aug. 12. The public is also invited to see the exhibit at Klein Hall during normal business hours.