Veterans’ Memorial Unveiled at the Butler VA Medical Center
Standing in front of the new Veteran’s Memorial is: L-R: Clarence Hasenflue,
Kim and Ken Swartfager, Jordin Chambers and Wayne Bearfield.
After being hospitalized in the Butler VA Medical Center in 2020 for a lengthy period of time, Clarence “Pistol Pete” Hasenflu came to appreciate all the care and attention that was given to him during his stay at the medical center. He soon came up with the idea to make a Veterans’ Memorial for the Butler VA. His acquaintance with the folks at the Swartfager Welding, in Knox, PA, led to a collaborated effort to create a Veterans’ Memorial.
Tuesday, October 25, 2022, was the day that Hasenflu’s inspiration became a reality. The folks at the Butler VA Medical Center off New Castle Road in Butler, held a dedication ceremony to the artwork designed and fabricated by Swartfager Welding of Knox. It is a memorial to the life and service of Abie Abraham, and dedicated to all Veterans of all branches of armed forces from the Revolutionary War to today.
The memorial is a graphic design of the iconic photo of the WWII “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima”, by five Marines and a Navy Hospital Corpsman.
It was a bright and sunny day for the dedication, as Amanda Kurtz, the public affairs specialist for the Butler VA, welcomed everyone to the event. In her welcome she recognized and thanked those who were closest to the project and who made the beautiful addition to the VA campus. Those individuals were; Clarence Hasenflue “Pistol Pete”; Ken and Kim Swartfager owners of Swartfager Welding; Jordin Chambers, chief designer and lead drafter and Wayne Bearfield, supervisor at Swartfager Welding; and Josh Riddle, Butler VA’s engineering and his facility management team. She was especially thankful to Ken Swartfager for his company’s generous contribution to the Butler VA.
Photo right: Posting of the Colors by Marine Corps League Bantam Marine Detachment 7423
The Bantam Marine Detachment 743 of the Marine Corps League was called on for the posting of the Colors. The Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation was given by the VA Chaplain, Ed Rogland.
Photo left: Sharon Coyle, Butler VA Medical Center Director delivers the opening Remarks at the dedication ceremony.
Remarks were given by Sharon Coyle, the Medical Center’s director; Clarence Hasenflu, Korean War Veteran; and closing remarks by Rebecca Wolfe, the Associate Director of Operations.
Coyle commented, “I’m grateful to all those involved in this week’s dedication ceremony and the new artwork displayed on our VA campus. It will serve as a beautiful and humble reminder of the selfless service of all Veterans—Veterans we are privileged to serve every day at the Butler VA.” —Sharon Coyle, Butler VA Health Care System Director.
Photo left: Clarence “Pistol Pete” Hasenflue, of St. Petersburg, PA, talks about his time in the VA Medical Center and expresses his appreciation to his caregivers and staff, and his quest to have the Veterans’ Memorial built.
In closing the Butler VA Associate Director of Operations, Rebecca Wolfe, expressed a sincere Thank You In closing the Butler VA Associate Director of Operations, Rebecca Wolfe, expressed a sincere Thank You to Swartfager Welding for their generous donation of artwork honoring Americas’ Veterans.
Photo right: American Legion Riders from the Lyndora Post 778 were also on hand
for the memorial dedication.
Afterwards the guests at the event took time to take a closer look at the new monument and take pictures.
Ken Swartfager, owner of Swartfager Welding, Inc. of Knox, was very happy to be a part of the memorial project. He said he had complete confidence that the men and women would do a superb job on the Veterans Memorial and he was extremely happy with the result. He also said that he had many war-time veterans in his family, clear back to the Civil War, so this was his way of saying thank you to them and to all Veterans.
Jordin Chambers, chief designer of the memorial, after seeing her artwork now permanently on display at the Butler VA, expressed her thanks to the VA Hospital and Pistol Pete. She said, “Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of not only making the memorial, but also for being able to be there for the dedication ceremony. It was an honor to be able to make such an awesome project for the Veterans, those currently serving, and their families.”
Please note that, all Veterans are encouraged to enroll at the Butler VA Health Care System. When Veterans use the VA, they make it possible for future Veterans to enjoy the same quality care and services. Call 800-362-8262 or visit www.va.gov/butler-health-care/register-for-care/ to get started.
The next time you’re in the area of the Butler VA, take a moment to drive by the monument and see for yourself what a wonderful addition the monument is to the Butler VA Medical Center. It is located at 325 New Castle Road, Butler, PA.