In the military, it’s not good practice for your leaders to be surprised. But it was all in good fun last month, as friends and colleagues got together in full stealth mode to honor Duane Broughton for his leadership in getting the Stoughton Area Veterans Memorial Park.

The steering committee, which formed in 2014 to plan and build the memorial (now its board of directors), gathered on July 16, ostensibly for a dinner at American Legion Post 59. Once there, the group also recognized Broughton -- to his surprise -- for his leadership in constructing the memorial, and presented him a walnut plaque inscribed with the names of his fellow committee members.

Steering committee member Bud Erickson wrote in an email to the Hub, while the memorial had been talked about for years, Broughton was the one who “provided the inspiration and spark to get the project rolling.”

Selected as general chairman of the project in November of 2014 when the committee was first formed, Broughton told his gathered colleagues he was “very lucky to be a part of a really good team.”

“If I did anything right, it was associating myself with the most outstanding group of people from the Stoughton area,” Broughton said, passing along thanks to the greater Stoughton community. “Of the cost to build the memorial, almost every cent came from Stoughton area businesses, organizations, and individuals.”

For more information on the park (731 Country Club Road in Pleasant Springs), visit stoughtonveteransmemorial.org

Tim Erickson contributed to this story