Veterans group working to establish memorial monument

Published 10:01 am Sunday, May 8, 2022

Veterans from all branches of the military could soon be honored with a memorial monument at the Southwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery.

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1058, along with other local veteran supporters, are working to raise money to help make the memorial monument a reality.

“Our vision is to establish a memorial monument representing all branches of the military with seating area,”  said Lenor Broussard Cox, whose husband Ted Cox Sr. was the first veteran interned at the cemetery.

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The memorial monument will honor all six branches of the military: Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Air Force and Space Force.

“This is a wonderful way for our community to honor our veterans whether they are deceased or living because without them we would not have the freedoms we have today,” Cox said. “It’s also a wonderful way for the community to show their support to the veterans’ families.”

The granite monument will be placed at the entrance of the cemetery near the Memorial Wall and will be handicapped accessible.

Plans for the memorial also include benches to provide a seating area for families and friends of the veterans interred to sit and reflect, pray or visit, Cox said.

“I volunteer at the cemetery office and realized there was no place for families to go after the services while waiting for the interments to be completed,” she said, noting that many of the families attend services from out-of-town.

The group hopes to raise money to help cover the expenses of the memorial. The project is estimated to cost $200,000 including labor and material.

“Our vision cannot be reached without support and financial donations from others with the same vision,” Cox said. “We are asking the public to share our vision by supporting the funding of the memorial monument.”

All donations should be made payable to Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1508 and mailed to Memorial Monument, P.O. Box 873, Jennings, La. 70546.

Donations may be made through a 501c3 organization. Paperwork for tax exemptions will be provided upon request for tax purposes.

The memorial will take about six months to complete.

“Our ultimate goal is to have it completed by May of next year,” Cox said.

The cemetery serves as a burial site for veterans from all of southwest Louisiana from the Texas border to the Atchafalaya basin north to Leesville.