Signs at rest areas honor Nebraska veterans

There are 148,000 veterans in Nebraska and Bob Swanson made it his mission to express his gratitude to them.

A U.S. Navy veteran and past commander of Post 1 in Omaha, Swanson contacted state Sen. Bob Krist and the Nebraska Department of Roads to install signs that honor veterans at each of the 21 rest areas along Interstate 80. The signs feature the five military branches and read, "Nebraska honors our troops. Thank you for your service."

"It is said that sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance," Swanson said. "We have an obligation to ensure that every veteran, and their families, feels that his or her service to our country is appreciated by their fellow Americans. These signs will serve for years as a tangible acknowledgment of their sacrifice, and our appreciation."

The blue and orange signs, which are being created by the Nebraska Department of Roads, are being placed by the flag pole in each rest area. Swanson raised about $3,500 for the project through donations from Post 1, organizations and elected state officials, such as Sen. Krist, a veteran, who asked his fellow senators to donate to the project.

"When travelers see these signs hopefully they will think about their neighbor who has a son or daughter in the service," Swansons said. "Their families, some widowed, some orphaned, all hurting and forever changed."

(Photo by the Lincoln Journal Star)