Veterans Memorial Park seeks donations, manpower
VFW Post 4820 in Port Neches, which helps maintain Veterans Memorial Park near Bridge City, seeks donations to repair a tower that honors killed or missing personnel from Orange and Jefferson counties.
“We have a number of copper shingles on the south side of the tower, and [Hurricane] Rita got some of those,” said Jim White, past post commander and Park Comittee chairman. “Before we could get that repaired, Humberto came along, and there are about 15 shingles barely hanging on.
While post members work in the park on Thursday mornings, with anyone welcome to volunteer, the main problem is money, White said.
“Most of us who work out there are in our 80s, and we have to leave before it gets real hot. We do get some support from Vietnam veterans who are a little younger.” A grant provided by Jefferson County helps maintain trimming and lawn care, he said.
After Rita, White said he looked “all over the country” to find copper, and finally did through some farmers in Galveston. The Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation provided $4,000 to buy the copper, but it wasn’t cheap then and has gone up since Rita, White said.
“We got about 100 shingles from R and R Marine, and we have a young man who will put them up for us but he wants to wait until its cooler outside. We still need about 30 more shingles, and if we could raise $5,000 we’d be happy.”
To make a donation, write to: Golden Triangle Veterans Memorial Park, P.O. Box 83, Port Neches, 77651. For more information, call White at 722-3211 or 718-5974; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The park was formally dedicated in 1988. The tower was constructed in the mid 1990s. The late W.T. Oliver, who lived in Bridge City, veteran, general character and Cajun humorist; worked with other veterans and Bridge City residents to make the park a reality.
“W.T. was instrumental in making all the arrangements to the park when it started out,” said White, who attended Port Neches-Groves High School with Oliver. “I remember once we got called down for talking in history class,” he said.
The tower honors area soldiers listed KIA or MIA from World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.