Traveling veterans memorial to make stop in Victoria April 13-16

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

March 29, 2011 at 7:05 p.m.
Updated March 28, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.

Freedom will ring at the Victoria Mall in April, at least that's Don Williams' goal.

Williams, commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 3077 in Victoria, has been working to bring the Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial to Victoria.

The memorial contains 527 photos and names of Texas veterans who have died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

"It's to let the community know that we support our troops and what they're doing and that we stand behind them," he said.

The traveling memorial will be at the mall from April 13 - 16 and members of the crew who set up the panels have sons on that panel, Williams said.

Chapter 3077 will sell books about local members who were wounded in World War II, Korea and Vietnam for $10 alongside the traveling memorial, which accepts donations for the upkeep of the memorial.

Those who donate will receive a pin, Williams said.

Bringing this memorial to Victoria for the first time is something that goes along with other veteran events in the community, like Warrior's Weekend, he said.

In the end, it's about helping out, Williams said.

"We're veterans helping veterans," he said.

The local chapter has helped 3,500 veterans file their claims and receive disability and benefits.

The memorial and this effort is all part of helping out, he said.

"It's a great feeling knowing that you've helped another veteran get what he's deserved," he said.

But for the 527 pictures on the memorial, all that can be done is to pay respect, he added.

"I think it will catch a lot of attention," he said. "People can get to see the price of freedom."



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