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july/august 2008

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Monroe County, Michigan, Chapter 142 received its VVA charter in 1984. The next year, the Chapter decided to build a memorial honoring all Monroe County soldiers who served their country during the Vietnam War. After an ambitious and successful campaign to finance the project through public, private, and corporate donations, the Monroe County Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on May 17, 1987, in Heck Park.

The memorial is named after Capt. Norman W. “Rusty” Heck of Ida, Michigan, who was killed in Vietnam in December 1964. In 1991, a Huey helicopter gunship was added to the memorial, and a second helicopter, a Cobra, was dedicated on the site in 1994.

On May 10, many Chapter members were on hand at Heck Park, where they joined local officials, including World War II veteran U.S. Rep. John D. Dingell and uniformed active-duty military personnel, for the dedication of the missing component of the Memorial: a bronze statue of a servicewoman to commemorate women who served overseas during the Vietnam War.

“Everyone who visits this park knows we haven’t forgotten” the women who served in the Vietnam War and elsewhere during the Vietnam War era, said Chapter 142 President Don Reed.

“This is an important day,” Glenn R. Podhola, a Chapter past president and the current secretary, said in his remarks at the ceremonies. “It is the culmination of a lot of years of hard work. Our mission is complete.”

 

 

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