Indiana National Guard Warrant Office Candidate Jason Helmsing, an inspector with the 638th Aviation Support Battalion, unloads pebbles from a tractor as part of a maintenance and beautification project at Proctor Park in New Whiteland, Ind., Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.
By Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Lowry - Indiana National Guard Public Affairs
NEW WHITELAND, Ind. — Twelve candidates with the Indiana National Guard's Warrant Officer Candidate School, Class 14-001, spearheaded a beautification and maintenance project at the Proctor Memorial Park Saturday.
The candidates, along with volunteers from central Indiana, weeded the grounds, sealed the monuments and pavers, replaced dead and dying plants, and provided general lawn care to the 11-acre park that includes memorials to Hoosier veterans from throughout the state.
“We are humbled and blessed to be here,” said Warrant Officer Candidate Travis Holcomb, the class’ current leader. “It’s a blessing taking care of this facility for future generations.”
Holcomb said that when his class looked for a class project that he and his peers couldn’t overlook the history of the park.
The park, dedicated in May 2007, honors the service and sacrifice of Indiana National Guardsman and Silver Star recipient Sgt. Joseph Proctor who died May 3, 2006, during an attack at Camp Ramadi in Iraq. Proctor protected his fellow Soldiers by killing a suicide bomber who was driving a truck laden with explosives.
According to the Silver Star narrative, “Sgt. Joseph Proctor saved countless lives that fateful day by stopping the driver before he could reach his objective. His actions were nothing less than heroic and embody the warrior ethos by his selfless courage.”
New Whiteland resident and the town’s treasurer, Maribeth Alspach, said she is grateful of the show of support from military service members, current and retired, who donate their time and money to the park.
“We are humbled by the fact that if you have your uniform on or not, serving the country or the community, you can’t out give a veteran,” said Alspach.
For community-based Soldiers giving back to their communities is part of their ethos.