Honorary Chair Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial

The Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial will be a place of solemn honor, reflection and education dedicated to those who have made sacrifices in service to their communities and country.

For the 17th Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Richard H. Carmona, serving as the Honorary Chair of the Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial honors the people and experiences he knows firsthand.

“For over half my life, I have had the privilege to serve as a U.S. Army Special Forces soldier, a deputy sheriff and U.S. surgeon general,” Carmona says. “Now I have the honor of working with a great team in order to honor all of our fellow military and first responder colleagues who serve selflessly every day to ensure that our nation and communities are always safe.”

Carmona is a Special Forces, combat-decorated Vietnam veteran, the surgeon who established the first trauma system in southern Arizona, and a nationally recognized SWAT expert and decorated law enforcement officer awarded the National Top Cop Award, the National SWAT Officer of the Year and the National Tactical EMS Award. After completing his four-year term as Surgeon General in 2006, Carmona joined Tucson-based Canyon Ranch as vice chairman. He is president of the non-profit Canyon Ranch Institute, Distinguished Professor at the University of Arizona and Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University.

Support for Memorial Building

Dr. Carmona and a team of dedicated volunteers lead the memorial’s fundraising efforts. Their goal is to personally engage with philanthropic individuals, corporations and foundations throughout southern Arizona to raise $1.9 million to build and maintain this beautiful destination in Oro Valley.

“I am so proud to be helping raise money for this memorial,” said Vickie Shoopman, a member of the campaign committee. “All of our committee members have a connection to the military or first responders, some though family, others through friends, and all through a deep commitment to honoring the men and women who serve.”

Southern Arizona has a population of more than 400,000 (roughly 20%) veterans, active military, and first responders. These men and women, fallen and living, had and have a critical role in both past and present conflicts in America. Despite their sacrifices, these same individuals often have not received the recognition they deserve. The Memorial will be a hallowed place to honor them.

The Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial represents a unique opportunity to honor first responders and their military colleagues. Support of the $1.9 million fundraising effort to build the Living Memorial in southern Arizona will create a unique and beautiful reflection space that is free to everyone who wishes to learn about and honor our veterans and first responders.

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