Estes Park Village honors veterans with memorial display

Senior living location showcases military gear from residents and family

Honoring the men and women who’ve served our country in the armed forces is a high priority at Good Samaritan Society – Estes Park Village in Colorado.

“I believe it’s an outstanding place for veterans,” Jim Rushing, Society ancillary services supervisor, says.

'Thrilled' to add veteran memorial

Jim, a retired United States Air Force veteran, says a once generic breezeway connecting the assisted and independent living buildings is now a shrine to service members. He says he’s thrilled to feature the gear of World War II hero and former Society resident Bob Brunson.

“His son said, ‘I got a lot of stuff that’s my dad’s that we would be honored to donate,’” Jim says. “I was just thrilled.”

There are unique 48-star flags, news clippings and important military photos as well. The location is gathering quite a meaningful collection.

“We’ve gotten a lot of the material and stuff from our residents that have either passed away or that are still living that have just really donated stuff to us and shared their stories,” Jim says. “The pictures right here underneath the flags are all my dad’s when he was in the Army Air Corps."

Room inspires 'feeling of pride'

You can tell these effects mean a lot to Jim and others here in Estes Park.

“I get a feeling of pride, being such a small part of it, but the honor of just what this represents,” Paul Blanchard, Society chaplain, says.

Paul is a Navy veteran and a Vietnam War draftee.

“My father was in combat in the South Pacific in World War II. His father was in combat in France in World War I. Relatives fought in the Civil War,” Paul says. “What they went through, particularly those that went through combat, was a hard time. We owe them our freedom. I’m always grateful for that and humbled by it.

Thanking veterans

Pointing to our veterans’ sacrifices and saying “thank you” in as many ways you can is a mission at the Society.

“Without our veterans, we couldn’t be free to have a company like this that supports our retirees, our seniors,” Jim says.

When it comes to the strategy of prioritizing veterans, Jim adds, “I really enjoy that. A lot of companies do but they don’t go as far as Sanford and Good Samaritan does."

Creating a great place for veterans to work and live.

“They’re important and they’re appreciated,” Paul says.

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