Monday Profile: Dan LeVan continues to serve his country and community
Dan LeVan arrived in the city at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers when he was just six weeks old.
It was 1961 and the LeVans were driving back to Nevada after having spent the summer in the small town of Neenah, Wisconsin where LeVan’s mother, Patricia LeVan, grew up and Levan, himself, was born.
At the time, LeVan’s father, Dan H. LeVan, worked as an art teacher in Nevada and the family was heading back west for the coming school year.
“Along the way they stopped in Glenwood,” LeVan said. “They took a look at the paper and saw there was a high school [teacher] position open. So, my dad took that and the rest is history.”
LeVan still calls Glenwood Springs home 59 years later.
Country and community
After attending Glenwood Springs Elementary, Middle and High School, LeVan joined the Air Force in 1980 and was eventually stationed near St. Louis where he served as a hospital and air evac medic for eight years.
While LeVan’s own interest in the medical field originally made him want to join the Air Force, his father’s service as an Army medic in the Korean War certainly inspired him to sign up as well.
Whether in the sky or the intensive care unit, LeVan routinely cared for sick or injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
“We traveled the whole U.S. going to different bases to pick up people who needed further care at bigger hospitals,” LeVan said. “It was quite an experience.”
Following his time in the Air Force, LeVan joined the Army National Guard and eventually returned to the Western Slope where he continued to work as a medic.
Combined, LeVan served his country for 14 years and continues to serve his community today.
The last Monday In May
For as long as LeVan can remember, on the Friday before Memorial Day his dad always placed American flags in Rosebud Cemetery on the gravesites of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
On the last Monday in May, LeVan’s dad and American Legion Post 83 would also put on a Memorial Day ceremony in Glenwood Springs.
When his father died in 2007, LeVan continued the local Memorial Day tributes that were so dear to his dad.
The Friday before Memorial Day, LeVan, with the help of community volunteers placed 500 American flags throughout Rosebud Cemetery.
“It’s really meaningful,” LeVan said. “Proud to be able to do it.”
As a result of COVID-19, this year’s Memorial Day ceremony was canceled, however, a rifle salute, the playing of “Taps” and the lowering of flags to half-mast were still planned for Monday.
Headed to Tucson
Following his service in the Air Force and Army National Guard, LeVan, like his dad, also went onto to work for the Roaring Fork School District as an educator and bus driver.
“It is very rewarding,” LeVan said.
This year was LeVan’s last to teach, but will continue to work in the school district next year as a bus driver before retiring.
After living in Glenwood Springs for nearly six decades, LeVan plans to start spending winters in Tucson, Arizona.
“It’s the weather,” LeVan said. “Plus, it doesn’t have the weeds, trees and grass, which I’m allergic to.”
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