PORTAGE | Walter White is hoping his new venture will be short-lived.
White, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Naval Reserves and U.S. Army National Guard, is organizing a monthly military memorial service to honor service personnel who have been killed in the line of duty.
White, a retired electrician, said he got the idea by attending a similar ceremony held each month in Hobart and thought it would be a good idea to bring it to Portage.
"I think it should be a service done in every town in this nation. It is the least we can do," White said.
White received permission from the Portage Park Board to hold the service at 5 p.m. the first Monday of each month, beginning April 1, at the south end of Gilbert Memorial Park on Willowcreek Road, near the Freedom Shrine.
He chose Gilbert Park because of its high visibility and easy access. Aware of the limited parking, he said he has worked with the Portage Police Department for the temporary closing of the two outside lanes of Willowcreek Road for parking during the service.
The service will include a flag ceremony, opening and closing readings by area chaplains and the reading of the names, ranks and hometowns of service personnel killed within the previous month.
The length of the ceremony will vary, he said, depending on the number of names.
"Hopefully it will be a very short list and hopefully we will work our way out of business," said White.
Before the first ceremony, White will be contacting all local service organizations, both military and non-military related, to ask for their involvement. He will also be working with the Portage High School JROTC unit.
"We want all to be involved," said White.
Any group or person interested in getting involved with the memorial service should contact White via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.