The Aberdeen Area Veterans, Inc.’s (AAVI) proposed veteran center is kicking off the veteran appeal portion of their fundraising efforts. Heading up their Building Common Ground Campaign is Retired Brigadier General Thomas Croymans of Aberdeen. “I chose to lead the veteran’s appeal portion of the Common Grounds Campaign because we felt it important to get as much participation from area veterans as possible prior to launching a regional fundraising effort,” states BG Croymans.
The total cost for the new 15,000 square-foot veterans center is estimated at $5.2 million. Located on North Roosevelt Street in Aberdeen, it will be a common location for any veteran (and community member) needing to connect with other veterans, veteran services and programs, and educational opportunities. AAVI is keenly aware of the struggles veterans are facing and hopes this new center will be a welcoming place for those in need. Several Veteran Service Organizations have joined forces to make this new facility a reality in the Aberdeen area. The AAVI is accepting 3-5 year pledges, including cash, appreciated marketable securities, land, or other assets that can be readily converted to cash. People can also donate in memory of deceased veterans, family members, and friends. Naming opportunities exist for significant portions of the new building.
BG Croymans retired from the SD Army National Guard in May of 2019 after more than 43 years of service. His last duty position was the Assistant Adjutant General from May 1, 2018, to April 30, 2019, where he was responsible to the Adjutant General for strategic planning, strength management, troop readiness, and mobilization support of the state’s 3,200 Army National Guard Soldiers.
His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Army Commendation Medal with 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters amongst others. He served his entire career as a traditional Guardsman.
General Croymans graduated from high school in Wilmot SD and has a Diploma from Lake Area Vocational Technical Institute in Industrial Drafting Technology, a Bachelors of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from South Dakota State University, and a Masters Degree in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College.
He and his wife Vicki live in Aberdeen. They have one grown daughter Jenna.
“I would encourage anyone who knows of a veteran to have them get in touch with us. We know there are over 5,000 veterans in Brown County but have contact information for only a few hundred.” BG Croymans continues.
This new Aberdeen area veterans facility is not associated with any federal program or the VA. AAVI is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization.
For campaign/donor information, please contact Michelle Peck at 605-626-1470, or visit www.aberdeenvets.org.
To provide information about the 5,000 veterans residing in Brown County, AAVI has built an online survey to collect their contact information and keep them informed about the campaign’s progress.