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Group of men making a difference to honor veterans
By: Lindsay Ward
BEDFORD, Pa. -- In November, WJAC-TV told you about an organization in Bedford County that decided to build a monument honoring local World War II veterans after they realized that hundreds of vets in the area were without a memorial.
Bedford County Visitors Bureau Executive Director Dennis Tice said he created a group, the League of Pretty Good Guys, comprised of five Bedford County men, who cared about the same thing, honoring our World War II veterans.
"There's nothing that's necessarily extraordinary about any of us, we're just regular fellas," Tice said.
It all started in 2010 when the visitors bureau made a film about Bedford County World War II veterans. Tice said it made about $35,000. At first, he and others didn't know what to do with that money, until they saw what the town was missing.
"I worked on a lot of the film, and became very close with the World War II vets, and as I was working on it I became painfully aware, embarrassed actually, there was no monument to honor the sacrifice of all these people," Tice said.
That's when the group decided something had to be done for the veterans.
"Veterans have a soft spot in my heart, and I thought this was something that would be a worthy worthwhile project for not only to honor them, but great addition to the community," said league member Brian Jeffries.
The group thought the monument would cost around $50,000, but it ended up being four times more, at $200,000.
"We all pledged we would stay with this until we raised the money to pull off this first class statue," Tice said.
The group set out to raise the thousands of dollars more to see the project through.
"This was 100 percent funded by local service groups, citizens," Jeffries said.
Tice said when the project was secured it was an obvious choice on where they decided on placing the monument, in the Bedford Square on Penn Street.
The statue will feature two soldiers, who appear to be on the battlefield, reading a letter from home. It was important to Tice and the other good guys to depict the sacrifices that were made. Several of those veterans left their thumb prints on the monument.
"There were so many involved from Bedford County, one out of every eight [men] served," Tice said. "So when they came back, who was going to create the monument? They didn't make a monument for themselves, it's time for us to do it."
If you know someone who is making a difference in your community, email Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org.