Douglas’ Wall of Faces receives grant from Fort Huachuca Thrift Store

Rodney Rose, front left, one of the many volunteers at the Fort Huachuca Thrift Store, and Karen Smith present a check for $2,000 to Ginny Jordan of the Wall of Faces exhibit in Douglas. 

DOUGLAS — The Wall of Faces exhibit, located inside the Gadsden Hotel, was recently the recipient of a $2,000 grant, courtesy of the Fort Huachuca Community Thrift Shop.

The donation was made by Karen Smith, who works with the thrift shop, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the military community and the public by selling used clothing and merchandise that has been consigned or donated to generate revenue to be used solely for charitable purposes.

“October was a month of gratitude for the Veterans Commemoration Project/Wall of Faces,” said Ginny Jordan, who received the grant on behalf of the Wall of Faces. “We were invited by the Fort Huachuca Thrift Store to submit a proposal for a grant to help us here at the Wall of Faces. We had submitted one two years ago and received $1,500, and that was a blessing. With the onset of COVID, we had been down on visitors to the exhibit and paying for our basic survival costs.”

Since it opened, Jordan said more than 10,000 people have visited the Wall of Faces exhibit.

“We are nonprofit,” she said. “All of us here are volunteers. A proclamation was issued in 2012 by President Obama that the nation ‘Thank all who served in the Vietnam War Era.’ Douglas was not aware of it until 2016. A handful of volunteers were asked to come up with a commemoration idea for Douglas veterans.

“On July 4, 2016, an exhibit called the ‘Wall of Faces’ opened with a wall of faces of 200 men and women who served in that time period. We expected it to be a six-month project. But we knew at the end of the six months it was going to be forever. To date, we have identified over 850 men and women who served in that era.”

Jordan said the exhibit has continued to grow, and a Purple Heart Room recently opened to honor the more than 265 identified Purple Heart recipients from Douglas.

“In fact, because of identifying these recipients, Douglas is now a Purple Heart City,” she said. “We are collecting data and stories from all our Douglas veterans who have served. The exhibit is growing. Visitors are grateful. We are proud of Douglas.

“We have no funding. We rely on donations. We have been very fortunate that our visitors who come from all parts of the country to visit the exhibit help us, as well as the city of Douglas, which helped us out with $1,000 in its 2021-22 budget. The Fort Huachuca Thrift Store was so generous. They invited us to come and speak to their board. They have an amazing organization. We were granted $2,000. You don’t know what that means to us. We are so grateful.”