Local News

Hometown Heroes partners with the Vermont Veterans Tribute Task Force

Hometown Heroes is a project in Fair Haven founded by Emily Stockwell in support of veterans locally and around the state. Stockwell is the daughter of a notable World War II veteran of Fair Haven, the late Bernard Stockwell.

Bernard “Bun” Stockwell was born on March 30, 1923, in Fair Haven where he also graduated high school. He is remembered for serving in the European theater during WWII after enlisting in the U.S. Army.

Following his time in uniform, he served for 50 years as a member of the Fair Haven Fire Dept., a member of the Fair Haven Rescue Squad, Fair Haven Historical Society, and the Fair Haven American Legion Post #49 and its Color Guard. For his contributions and honorable service as a hometown hero, a profile of Bun Stockwell will be featured on the first Vermont Veterans Tribute, located in Fair Haven.

The idea of Hometown Heroes was born on Pearl Harbor Day in 2019 when Emily Stockwell was participating in morning ceremonies with Fair Haven American Legion Post 49 color guard. In that moment, she recognized a silence in the community with no tributes or active recognition of local service members from post-Vietnam to present.

She then assembled the Hometown Heroes team: Gina Cull, Terry Carruth, Joe Donaldson, and Hazel Panoushek.

Hometown Heroes is a war memorial that will stand as two stone monuments with engraved Honor Rolls of “hometown heroes.” The monuments will accompany the POW-MIA and existing war memorials on the grass triangle at the northwest corner of the Fair Haven town green.

The Vermont Veterans Tribute Task Force (VVTTF) will work in partnership with Hometown Heroes, a memorial honoring post-Vietnam veterans to the present day.

The first Vermont Veterans Tribute is a large mural currently being designed by veterans and members of the community. Together with Hometown Heroes, the VVTTF will coordinate the planning and eventual unveiling the projects in downtown Fair Haven next year (2022).

The Vermont Veterans mural will be located on Main Street in downtown Fair Haven on a building owned by USMC veteran Kevin Durkee of Fair Haven. The tribute will feature historical figures and contemporaries in uniform who left a legacy by their service to country and community. It will honor those who serve and highlight the history of the community and state to celebrate locally and to share with visitors to Vermont.

Residents of Fair Haven and neighboring communities are encouraged to share this honor with veterans and active duty service members to contribute their name to the Hometown Heroes Honor Roll.

To do so, contact Emily Stockwell ([email protected]), founder of Hometown Heroes, to receive a form letter requesting permission and information for the monument.

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