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Dean K. Phillips Memorial
The Dean K. Phillips Memorial.
Photo by Len Ignatowski

A former parachute drop zone at Ft. Meade, Maryland, is dedicated to the chapter's namesake. The area is now part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Patuxent Research Refuge - North Tract. In response to questions about who Captain Dean Phillips was, a park's volunteer Internet search found the chapter's website. After receiving an email inquiry, Len Ignatowski and Joe Celesnik inspected the drop zone, which contained a deteriorated plaque, honoring Captain Phillips. The chapter approved funding the plaque's renovation. Due to environmental and park regulations, renovation was most practical.

The project involved replacing the existing damaged and corroding plaque with a larger size bronze plaque including more personal information about Dean K. Phillips.

Special thanks go to Alex Bigler, a retired Marine officer and owner of the National Trust Foundry, who took a very special personal interest in the plaque's inscription and casting.
Len Ignatowski and Joe Celesnik installed the new plaque on August 26, 2006. Both men are Vietnam War veterans. Diane Ignatowski and Sharon Celesnik, Chapter AVVA members, and Esther Woodworth, a refuge volunteer, were also in attendance.

Ms. Helen Phillips, mother of Dean K. Phillips, called Len Ignatowski to express her sincere appreciation for the new plaque and for the photographs of the plaque and memorial site which were sent to her.

The plaque installation fulfills our commitment to "Never Again, Will One Generation of Veterans Abandon Another."

     
  Joe Celesnik (l) and
Len Ignatowski (r) kneel next to the new Dean K. Phillips plaque.
Photo by Diane Ignatowski
  New plaque that honors the military and public service of
Dean K. Phillips.
Photo by Len Ignatowski
 

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