CARAWAY, AR (KAIT) – A group of Caraway residents has started a campaign to raise funds to build a veterans monument.
Shirley Redding says the committee has raised about $1,400 of the estimated $16,000 needed to build the monument in the Caraway Cemetery.
The committee has collected about 800 names that will be memorialized. One of them, Wendell Glen Vaughn, was Shirley's friend who shared the same birthday.
"Glen was our first Vietnam casualty, and he was nine days away from getting to come home when got killed," she said. "In fact, his dad got a letter from him two days after they knew he was dead and said, 'Dad, I'll be home. In nine more days I'll be out of this,' and he didn't get to come home, and I always felt guilty I guess that he went off to do this for us and he didn't get to come and we got to live."
Jean's husband, who died almost 13 years ago, is also a Vietnam veteran. She wants to honor her husband, who didn't talk much about the war or the mark it made on his life.
"I was even told a story where they went and ate at something like a Burger King and when he was walking to the car it backfired and they said he hit the ground, went to covering up. So it was very traumatic for him and I want to do this so bad for him."
A bank account has been set up for donations at Heritage Bank of Arkansas in Caraway.
Anyone who wants more information or has names to add to the memorial can contact Shirley Redding at (870) 482-3367 or Jean Jeffers at (870) 482-3950.