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New veterans memorial display in St. Charles County.

St. Charles County honors employees who are veterans with new display

A new display in the St. Charles County Administration Building highlights county employee service in the U.S. Armed Services.

County Councilmembers, administrative staff and employees gathered Sept. 26 in the lobby of the building at 201 North Second St., in St. Charles to unveil the display that features a slideshow of employee photographs – all of whom are veterans of the nation’s armed services. The photographs include the branch of service in which each employee served, video interviews with veterans, and where each works in the county.

The display also includes employee veteran memorabilia and features seals from each Armed Services and U.S and county flags.

Dennis Wiss, chairman of the county’s Veterans Best Practices Working Group and director of Smartt Field Airport, noted that the county’s veterans have served from Vietnam through the Middle East and in all service branches, including the United Nations.

Wiss said the county has identified “just a hair over 100” employees who are veterans.  “We suspect there are more,” he said. “They represent about 10 percent of county employees, so it’s a good number.”

The display not only recognizes employees, but also gives an indication of the dedicated service by county workers to the country.

“One of the things we found out was that people were working next to people who were in the military and they had no idea that they both were in the military,” Wiss said. “No one knew.  So all of a sudden you’re part of that military brotherhood.”

Wiss said the memorabilia and display will be updated periodically and rotated. The memorabilia may go back as far as World War II.  “That’s some really neat stuff,” he said.

The display grew out of the council establishing a Veterans Best Practices Working Group in 2014. The idea was to establish and employment-friendly environment for county employees who are veterans, county officials said.

“St. Charles County has more than 100 veteran employees, and we are proud of their service to our country and our community,” County Executive Steve Ehlmann said in a news release. “The display is to honor them, and to say ‘thank you.’”

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