BOSSIER CITY, La. – The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) Northwest Louisiana Veterans Home (NWLVH) invites you to attend the unveiling and dedication ceremony of its first-ever female Veteran statue being held at the Bossier, La. home at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6.

“As the number of female veterans is rising, we wanted to have a statue to honor female Veterans of the past, present, and future,” says NWLVH Administrator Wes Pepitone.

There are approximately 28,407 female Veterans living in Louisiana and the LDVA is committed to addressing their needs, honoring their service, and to helping connect them with one another.

The LDVA’s NWLVH would like to thank Ken Koval and the NWLVH Ancillary Committee, which is comprised of representatives from several veteran service organizations, for spearheading this project and making this momentous occasion possible.

The committee selected SVJ Creative Designs of Kellogg, Minnesota to design and supply the concrete female Veteran statue being displayed at NWLVH.

SVJ Creative Designs, a first generation business founded 30 years ago by David and Shelly Speedling, is still currently owned and operated by the couple. The SVJ of SVJ Creative Designs is named after the couple’s three children, S- for Shauna, V- for Valerie and J- for Jeffrey.

David handles the day-to-day operations in the manufacturing area and overall operation of the production process. Shelly is in charge of the painting application on statues as well as office work and marketing.

“We received requests for a female soldier over the years and created one with our sculptor,” says David Speedling. “She measures 70”H x 32”W x 32”H and weighs around 900 pounds. We use materials in our mix that withstand Minnesota harsh winters and we have other extra materials within our statues for extra reinforcement.”

LDVA’s NWLVH would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the Keep Bossier Beautiful organization and volunteers who assisted with the beautiful landscaping surrounding the statue.

LDVA Secretary Joey Strickland has made women Veterans a priority by assigning a full-time staff member to oversee the LDVA Women Veterans Outreach Program. Ms. Alex Juan is a USAF Veteran and will be in attendance at this ceremony to bring greetings on behalf of the Department.

Women Veterans comprise 10% of the total veteran population in Louisiana and, many times, they are less likely to apply for benefits or reach out for help.

The LDVA wants to give Louisiana’s female Veterans opportunities, like this dedication ceremony, to network, support, and build friendships with women who have shared similar experiences.

“We were honored when the committee from the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Home of Bossier City, Louisiana chose our Minnesota business to purchase from,” says Shelly Speedling who worked directly with Mr. Koval on this beautiful addition to LDVA’s NWLVH.

For more information on SVJ Creative Designs statues, please contact them directly via phone: (507) 767-3039 or email: