552 – VVA Chapter to build Killeen Vietnam War memorial

VVA Chapter 1000

Bill Whittaker, center, president of the local chapter of Vietnam Vets of America, Cliff Baldwin, left, and Dennis Farmerie discuss the money needed for a Vietnam memorial at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. Photo by Josh Bachman.

A story from the Killeen Daily Herald titled: $27K needed for Killeen Vietnam War memorial by Jacob Brooks is featured in this episode.

Chapter 1000 of the Vietnam Veterans of America located in Harker Heights, Texas is spearheading a drive to raise $27,000 to establish a Vietnam War memorial to be built at the veterans cemetery next door in Killeen. It would be appropriate to establish a Vietnam War Memorial in Killeen because it sits adjacent to Fort Hood. That post is one of the largest in the Army system. It is the home two armored divisions, an aviation brigade, a corps headquarters and many support units and activities.

A large number of service members retire in the towns around Fort Hood like Killeen, Harker Heights, Belton, Temple, Salado, Copperas Cove, Kempner and Lampasas. Many of those who retire in the area are Vietnam Veterans so it only makes good sense to have a memorial in the area to commemorate their service in a war that brought them scant attention and appreciation when they returned home.

The proposed memorial in Killeen is one of several projects setup by local officials participation in the DOD Commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Plans for the memorial were announced to the public last summer.

Troy Kelley, a sculptor in Salado is willing to donate his talent in building the actual four-paneled, 6-foot-high memorial, made of black granite, will be etched with images that depict the Vietnam War, including an Army “Huey” helicopter, a swift boat and other military vehicles from the era. Wording and other images are also being planned for the memorial.

$4,000 has already been collected for the $27,000 project. All are encourage to contribute to this worthy project.

To donate to the project, checks can be mailed to Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1000, P.O. Box 2123, Harker Heights, TX, 76548.

For more information on the memorial, call Whittaker at 254-449-1126.

Officials hope to dedicate the memorial in the fall of 2017.

Contact Jacob Brooks jbrooks@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7468


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