Local veterans to raise funds for county's veterans memorial
Members of local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7767 plan to use the awareness of this year’s Veterans Day to kick off their campaign to raise funds to add a new stone to the Veteran's Memorial at the courthouse.
Post Commander Roy James said they need to raise around $10,000 to pay for the delivery of the stone and also to ensure they have enough money to add veterans’ names to the stone each year.
He said they are just getting started and no money has been raised yet, but they want to start in November after Veterans Day when it’s fresh in everybody’s mind.
VFW member Kenneth Stratton, a retired U.S. Army veteran, will head up the project as committee chairman. He said they are in the planning stages on the project and will be working with the community as a team to get the project started.
James said they will be setting up a separate bank account for the project and that all the money raised for that account will only be used for the memorial fund. All contributions to that account will go directly to the purchase of the memorial stone and engraving of the veteran’s names on the stone. Additionally, James is checking with the state of Texas to see if they have any funding programs available to help pay for the project.
Also on Memorial Day for the past 40 years, the post sells roasted half chickens and sausage- on-stick in front of the courthouse to raise money to help pay for adding the names of veterans on the stone marker. They also accepted donations.
James said the expense of having local veterans’ names engraved on the markers used be shared with the local American Legion post but that they are no longer active. He said now they are trying to reach out to families in the community and get their support in raising the money
The local VFW members are hoping to raise the money in time to have the stone in place within the next two years, which James said is about the time they will likely need the new stone for adding names.
For Stephens County veterans who have passed away to have their names engraved on the memorial, they must have an honorable discharge. Requests to have an individual’s name place on the monument go through the county judge’s office, and the VFW works with them to make sure each request is eligible.
James said the biggest challenge in raising the money for the project is getting the citizens in Breckenridge to understand how important the stone is for all the veterans and their families to have something to look at.
“They walk up there they see their grandparents on it, some of them see their fathers on it,” he said. “It keeps their spirit alive as long as that name is there. And it shows the men and women that fought for this country time after time. And to realize freedom is not free.”
If somebody wants to help they can call Stratton at 830-275-7355 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or they can contact James at the VFW post at 254-559-3105.