wyco

Photos courtesy of Denny Lester

Volunteers cut the trees on the site of the Wyoming County Veterans Memorial. Construction is expected to begin later this month. Organizers plan to unveil the completed memorial during Veterans Day ceremonies.

Work on the Wyoming County Veterans Memorial is expected to begin later this month, according to Denny Lester, of the Veterans Support Group.

Volunteers have cut the trees on the site.

Organizers plan to unveil the completed memorial during Veterans Day ceremonies.

Total cost for the project is estimated at $60,000, Lester said, and organizers are well on their way to reaching that goal.

The reason the project has been so successful is the people of Wyoming County, Lester emphasized. He lauded those who have made donations and purchased bricks in the commemorative wall.

“We hope it will be a great thing for our community and county,” Lester emphasized.

The project is spearheaded by the Veterans Support Group in partnership with the Disabled American Veterans and the Mullens American Legion Post.

Located alongside state Rt. 10, across from Gilliland Park and the Veterans Flag Memorial in Oceana, easy access is one of the main features of the project.

Backed by a black brick commemorative wall, the memorial will also include three six-foot-high “uprights” that will carry the names of those who died in the designated war, along with memorial benches, and insignias of all the military branches – all in a semi-circle design. Parking will be located on the side.

The “uprights,” located in front of the commemorative wall, will include only Wyoming County veterans who died in combat, he explained. County veterans who died in the Civil War, World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam, and Middle Eastern conflicts will all be honored, Lester said.

Five hundred black bricks will be included in the commemorative wall, each honoring a veteran – even those who do not, or did not, reside in Wyoming County.

The group may include more bricks in the wall, if the money is available, Lester noted.

The bricks are available for $100 each and will include the veteran’s name, rank, military branch, and years of service. Forms are available from the veterans.

Of the 500 black bricks available for sale, more than half have already been sold, including bricks honoring the county’s first two settlers, John Cooke and Capt. Ralph Stewart. Both fought in the Revolutionary War.

The veterans must buy all 500 bricks for the wall at the same time, he explained.

Individual, business, organization, and corporate donations are also welcome for the memorial project.

The Veterans Support Group, which includes the DAV and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), meets each Monday at 10 a.m. in the First Baptist Church basement in Oceana.

To purchase a brick, contribute to the project, or for more information, contact Denny Lester, Veterans Support Group, at 304-923-7803 or Bill Elkins, DAV, at 304-953-3200.

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