Hoosier Village Unveils Veterans Photo Wall
Hoosier Village Senior Living Community in Zionsville recently unveiled a veterans photo wall and announced 10 new bricks to be added to the veterans garden. Twice a year, near Veterans Day and Memorial Day, Hoosier Village Chaplain Ron May officiates a ceremony honoring veterans who move into Hoosier Village or are the veteran spouses of widows or widowers who move there.
Out of approximately 750 residents in Hoosier Village, 123 are veterans, which well exceeds the percentage of veterans in the general population in the United States.
“This is an amazing community of veterans,” May said.
At the most recent brick-dedication ceremony Nov. 30, Hoosier Village also unveiled a photo wall honoring veterans living in the retirement community. Following the dedication ceremony, resident veterans and guests strolled up and down the hallway admiring and talking about the photos, some of which featured a current and past photo of the veteran.
Photographer Adam Seif, who also takes photos for Current Publishing, snapped the veteran’s portraits during three photo sessions, which lasted anywhere from three to six hours. He hung approximately 109 framed photos to create a main veteran wall in independent and assisted living, complete with a framed folded flag donated by a resident and crests for each of the five branches of service: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Seif hung smaller photo displays for nursing and memory care veterans.
“I’ve created other veteran walls,” Seif said, “but this is the biggest one I’ve done.”
The veteran garden project began with a discussion between May, who was a Navy Reserve chaplain for 22 years, and other veterans in the community. They began talking about having veteran memorial bricks placed in downtown Indianapolis; however, they realized that it would be difficult if not impossible for many of the resident veterans to ever go see them.
“Hey,” May remembers them saying, “we’ve got plenty of room right here for a veterans memorial.”
May approached the BHI Foundation, the nonprofit arm that supports BHI communities throughout Indiana and Ohio. After receiving the go-ahead, May contacted a landscape architect. The BHI Foundation paid for construction of the garden, which was dedicated in May 2017 with more than 130 bricks.
Today, 358 bricks fill the garden, which was set up for 400. Not only does the BHI Foundation continue to support the maintenance of the garden, it recently approved the expansion of the space by 135 more bricks.