The veterans memorial at the Brown County Courthouse will be getting its first update in decades.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6195 plans to add new a stone and plaques to the monument on the East Main Street side of the courthouse.
The additions will recognize local veterans of the Cold War and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Don Birden, post commander.
Currently, the monument lists the number of local soldiers who served in the Mexican, Civil and Spanish-American wars, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Panama Invasion and Persian Gulf War, and how many were killed.
“There’s not going to be any names, because we’ve had too many things in the past where names were listed and some got eliminated (accidentally),” Birden said.
The new plaques are meant to recognize all veterans of those eras, including those who didn’t deploy in a conflict, he said.
Birden, a Vietnam veteran of the U.S. Army, said it’s important to families of soldiers, living and deceased, that they are “accounted for on the monument.”
To his knowledge, the monument has not been added to since it was erected in 1993. “That’s why we wanted to recognize these veterans who are not recognized as of right now,” he said.
Birden said the veterans raised enough money through poppy sales and other events to cover the expected costs of adding a stone and plaques to the street side of the monument.
He said the VFW is working on getting local high-schoolers involved in the project, too, though specifics aren’t known yet.
The VFW endeavors to make itself known to young people by sponsoring the Voice of Democracy essay contest and Patriot’s Pin — which will be awarded during the community Veterans Day program at the high school Nov. 11 — and sponsoring youth sports teams.
“We try to get a lot of the school kids involved so they know what a veteran is,” Birden said.
The VFW isn’t sure when work will actually be done to the monument. Birden said Jamie Meredith of Meredith-Clark funeral home is working on a sketch and will let them know when the materials are ready to be set.
The plan is to do the official unveiling at the Memorial Day ceremony at the courthouse, Birden said.