Daughters of the American Revolution hope to bring Vietnam War monument to Lake Wichita

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A push to build a large monument honoring those who fought in the Vietnam War is gaining steam in Wichita Falls.

The Major Francis Grice chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is spear-heading the project.

Sonja Gandy and Kimberly Florsheim, both leaders with DAR in Wichita Falls said the organization wants to honor those who have fallen and those who made it back but were never given a hero's welcome home.

"We need to celebrate what they did. We need to remember what they gave," Gandy said.

Last year the local DAR chapter realized a lot of the board of directors had husbands, fathers, or brothers who fought in the Vietnam War.

They began fundraising for a $170,000 memorial monument in the summer of 2016.

Originally they had planned to put it outside the Memorial Auditorium.

"Because there are three or four monuments there (already)," Gandy said.

But after reaching out to the local community, Florsheim said Lake Wichita was suggested to her my community leaders.

"The Lake Wichita Revitalization Committee is one of the city groups that we have been working with and they really like the idea. We are going to take it to the city council and hopefully, it will be up for a vote in the next month or so," Florsheim said.

Florsheim and Gandy said the lake provides a more accessible and tranquil option for those wanting to pay their respects.

The bronze sculpture will stand 11 feet 3 inches tall and include a 3-foot base.

Florsheim adds they also have plans to build a memorial plaza around the monument.

It is going to have a serviceman standing next to a nurse holding a folded service flag. Both are looking down, possibly at a fallen comrade's grave.

A maquette of the sculpture was created by Wichita Falls native Garland Weeks thanks to the artwork by local DAR member Shirley King.

"Our Vietnam veterans are aging and we just want them to be able to see this and honor them while we can," Florsheim said. 
The DAR chapter is around $38,000 short of their goal.

If you would like to donate, make a check out to Major Francis Grice Chapter, NSDAR at 1714 Ridgemont Dr. Wichita Falls, TX  76309.

Samantha Forester, Newschannel 6

Copyright 2016 KAUZ All Rights Reserved