RICHMOND, Va. -- Keeping up with Candice Shelton can be a fruitless endeavor. She is always on the move.
At the Virginia War Memorial, Candi wears many hats.
“I have always felt a deep gratitude to be here,” says Candi. “I feel like it is what I was supposed to do. Because everything in my life prepared me to be here.”
She’s part organizer, field general and traffic cop rolled into one.
“She has done things for the war memorial that is beyond belief,” says veteran Frank Bland.
For 10 years, Candi has been serving as Education Director and at the Memorial.
Candi fosters relationships between students and those who served at the popular WWII roundtable programs every year.
“Here at the War Memorial we like to do things first class because our veterans deserve it,” Candi says.
This is a job she has mastered and relishes.
“If you give her a challenge, she responds to it,” says Virginia War Memorial Executive Director Jon Hatfield.
At the recent Veteran’s Day ceremony at the Memorial, Candice was running the show behind the scenes.
“Whatever is needed to get it done is what I do,” Candice says.
“She will tell you what you need to do,” Bland says. “She moves with a purpose, and she will tell you straight. She brings the smile out of you. Just to see her eyes is a warming feeling.”
Candi’s laser focus is on the nation’s veterans; they are men and women who hold a special place in her heart. Her two sons, husband and son-in-law have all worn the uniform.
“I can describe it in three words. Honor. Privilege and inspiring,” Candi says.
Those who work with Candi say her dedication is second to none.
“I know if I send an email at ten o’clock at night I get an answer back at 10:05,” says Hatfield.
But Candi’s time at the Memorial is winding down. She is walking away from the job she loves to be closer to her grandchildren.
“She is going to be difficult to replace,” says Hatfield. “Candi has a lot of special qualities. She would have made a great military officer.”
“I told someone that the work has been meaningful and significant,” Candi says.
Candi’s retirement will leave big shoes to fill. If you see her, wish her well. That is if you can catch up with her.
“I have loved every minute of it,” she said. “Loved every minute of it.”
When Candi started working at the Virginia War Memorial 10 years ago there were two events scheduled. Now there are roughly 50 events centered on veterans.
Ten years ago visitation was about 10,000. Last year, the Virginia War Memorial was visited by 70,000.