Veterans groups hold fundraiser for memorial

The veterans organizations in Wapakoneta have joined forces to help beautify the entry to Veterans Memorial Park and help defray the costs of a new monument to be dedicated in July.

The Wapakoneta American Legion Post 330, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8445 and the Amvets Post 333 are holding a chicken dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. June 30 at Veterans Memorial Park. Tickets can be purchased through June 27.

“We are all giving everything we make in profit to the memorial,” Wapakoneta American Legion President Les Chiles said. “We are not making anything off of this. All the proceeds are going to help with the landscaping, for the new memorial for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and for the existing memorials.”

Chiles explained some of the existing memorials, which commemorate World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War need some work to their surfaces to restore them as well as needing some cleaning.

Wapakoneta resident and Vietnam War veteran Ralph Reynolds and the three armed services organizations are raising funds to erect an 8-foot tall, 3-foot wide, 12-inch thick marble monument for the entrance at Veterans Memorial Park. The memorial honors the soldiers who fought during Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The monument will be  placed on the south side of a line of trees and shrubs which surround the existing monuments, with the proposed monument approximately 10 to 15 feet from the existing monuments.

Reynolds and the armed service organizations continue to solicit funds and are holding this fundraiser to pay for the monument which he estimates to cost approximately $8,000. Wapak Monuments is constructing and assembling the monument.

The chicken dinner is $7 and includes half a chicken, apple sauce and chips. They can be purchased at any of the veterans organization or through a member of the groups.

For more information, contact Les Chiles at the Wapakoneta American Legion at 419-738-9369.