Fallen to be remembered in tribute at UW-P

The photo exhibit honoring Wisconsin service members will open at Ullsvik Hall on Sunday.

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Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013 12:00 am

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. -- Jesse Grindey, of Hazel Green, Jakob Roelli, of Darlington, and Christopher Splinter, of Platteville, are among 128 Wisconsinites honored by Remembering Our Fallen, a photographic traveling tribute of those who gave their lives in the service of their country since Sept. 11, 2001.

The display comes to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Ullsvik Hall on Sunday, April 28. War widow Penny Splinter, of Dubuque, will speak during the opening ceremony. She lost her husband, U.S. Army Maj. Christopher J. Splinter, on Dec. 24, 2003. Splinter, a UW-P graduate, and two others were killed by a roadside bomb explosion north of Baghdad.

The UW-P Veterans Club is sponsoring the exhibit. Luke Price, the former club president, received an email about the exhibit, investigated it and passed on his encouragement to Aaron Bricco, the current president.

"I saw a video and became emotionally attached," said Bricco, an Army veteran who served in Iraq. "It really takes your breath away. It's really cool."

Bill and Evonne Williams, of Omaha, Neb., started the exhibit in November 2010 as a tribute to Nebraska's soldiers. The overwhelming response prompted them to expand it.

A version featuring photos of Iowa's fallen military service members appeared in Dubuque in October 2011. This will be the first of seven Wisconsin showings in 2013.

Dryhootch Madison, a veterans service and assistance organization, is the caretaker for the Wisconsin exhibit.

"It gets to me," said Nick Browne, of Madison, a Marine veteran who served in Iraq and who is assisting with the exhibit. "There are guys on there I know personally, and it's how I stay connected to these guys. It's an honor to be doing it. I've received nothing but positive reaction."

Bricco added that he hopes the exhibit helps bring awareness to a post-traumatic stress disorder seminar May 4.

"The exhibit will be available for everyone to see," he said. "It couldn't have worked out any better."

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