Ducks Unlimited Honors Military Heroes In Nebraska

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Ducks Unlimited Honors Military Heroes In Nebraska

6/20/08

Waterfowl habitat project to be dedicated to U.S. military fallen veterans

LINCOLN, Nebraska - Ducks Unlimited plans to dedicate a portion of its flagship property in Nebraska to memorialize the killed and wounded veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The "Fallen Heroes Marsh" will be located on DU's Verona Complex, a key wetland area in the Rainwater Basin. The marsh will be a place where friends and families can come to hunt, watch, photograph or simply listen to ducks and remember the sacrifices made by U.S. military veterans from Nebraska.

"The idea for this event came about due to the loss of Adam Herold, a Nebraska soldier serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq," said Clay Rogers, DU board member from Omaha. "What started as an event to honor Adam's memory by Ducks Unlimited has broadened to include honoring those wounded or killed from across the entire state." Adam was an avid waterfowl hunter and ardent DU supporter along with other members of his family.

DU is campaigning to find donors for the memorial marsh and will hold a fundraising event on Friday, September 19, followed by a dedication event in Spring 2009. The funds raised will help DU continue conservation work in the Rainwater Basin of Nebraska. DU will direct contributions to its revolving land program and waterfowl habitat restoration on the Verona Complex and throughout the state.

U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb) will serve as honorary co-chair of the event along with Howard Hawks and Bruce Lauritzen of Omaha, and Jim Stuart, Jr. and John Brager of Lincoln.

"Our fallen soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and it is only fitting that an area of such beauty and serenity be preserved for them," said Sen. Nelson. "As an avid sportsman and member of Ducks Unlimited, I am proud to serve as co-chair for this project that will ensure the continued memorial of those soldiers no longer with us."

"On September 19th, we are hosting a fundraising event including raffles and silent and live auctions to raise awareness and support for the memorial," said Steve Wilson regional director for DU. "With the help of the Herold family, who have a long history of supporting and volunteering for DU, we hope to dedicate the Fallen Heroes Marsh in March, 2009."

Nebraska veterans are appreciative of Adam Herold's family for their desire to honor him and his fellow fallen military veterans as well as conserve some ofNebraska's valuable waterfowl habitat.

"The inspiration to memorialize the legacy of our fallen heroes and their individual contributions to our country through wetlands conservation will serve generations of Nebraskans just as the sacrifices that our heroes made will continue for generations. It seems extremely fitting to honor their sacrifice this way," says Kyle Hildebrand a member of the Nebraska Army National Guard and Iraqi War veteran.

"Many of Nebraska's military men and women, particularly those associated with the National Guard, are avid outdoors people. We feel that honoring them by improving wildlife habitat and providing outdoor recreational opportunities, particularly for our citizen soldiers, are very fitting tributes," said Rogers.

"We have restored hundreds of acres of wetlands and grassland on the Verona Complex," said Steve Donovan, DU manager of conservation programs inNebraska. "However, we still have a long way to go to turn this property into a premiere stopover for migrating waterfowl. The support generated for the Fallen Heroes Marsh will help us accomplish our conservation and management goals on Verona and at additional sites in the Rainwater Basin."

The Verona complex is 45 minutes southeast of Grand Island in Clay County. The complex provides ample hunting and wildlife observation opportunities, including an observation tower built specifically for wildlife watching. The 1,280-acre property is composed of seasonally managed small to medium-sized wetlands and restored native grasslands. With the support generated for the Fallen Heroes Marsh, DU will continue needed wetland acquisition and restoration at Verona, including expansion of water delivery capabilities.

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - natures' most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.

Media Contact:
Jennifer P. Kross, (701) 355-3515 or (701) 202-8896 (mobile) or jkross@ducks.org
or Becky Jones-Mahlum, (701) 355-3507, bjmahlum@ducks.org
 

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