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Park City Honors Veterans With ‘Stories of Service’ Art Project

Park City Summit County Arts Council

To honor local veterans and veterans around the country this Veteran’s Day, Park City Municipal partnered with the Arts Council and the National Ability Center for a literary and visual art project called ‘Stories of Service.’ 


The city hosted a virtual roundtable on Wednesday morning where members of the local veteran community had the opportunity to share their experiences of serving and how those experiences still influence them today.


Many of those stories can be seen on posters throughout Park City as part of the ‘Stories of Service’ project between the city, Arts Council, and the National Ability Center. The posters highlight 14 stories of service and are on display at several local businesses, as well as virtually on createpc.org 


Current Park City Councilmember Nann Worel served in the United States Navy’s Nurse Corps and helped care for veterans returning from the war in Vietnam. Worel said she first saw the chance to serve as a way to pay for college, but soon learned an important lesson she still carries with her today.


“One of the mottos of the Nurse Corps is ‘the white shoes support the fleet,’ and I learned early on what that truly means,” said Worel. ”I learned about teamwork. I learned that I have a role to play, that everyone has a role to play on the team. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to serve because in retrospect, who I am today was very much shaped by my time in the military.”


Retired Army Colonel Todd Thursby shared he joined the military to pay for college too, but was advised by his grandfather, who himself went to the United States Military Academy at Westpoint, to learn a skill that could be used in the civilian world as well. 


“He kind of gave me a lot of direction,” Thursby said. “He says ‘hey, Todd, if you’re gonna join the military, join the military to get a vocation that you can use in the civilian world. He goes, ‘yeah, it’s good to shoot artillery, be a tank guy, you know, something of that nature, but there’s not a whole lot of civilian need to shoot artillery or drive tanks around in the civilian world.”


Thursby learned how to fly helicopters and airplanes and still works as a commercial cargo pilot today.


Another local veteran who continues to serve their community is Summit County Manager Tom Fisher. Fisher is a Brigadier General in the Utah National Guard and a veteran of the Iraq War. Fisher shared he believes so many members of the military continue to serve their communities after their time in uniform because of the sense of duty instilled in every member of the armed forces.


“And that’s why you see this tremendous sense of service from military members because that’s what we’ve been called on our whole career to do and that’s what we’ve learned as an ethic, is that we help and whenever there’s somebody in need, you can call them and get that help,” he said.


In total, 12 local veterans shared their stories on Wednesday. To watch the complete roundtable discussion, click here. More details on the ‘Stories of Service’ project can be found here.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.