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Veterans Memorial in Vidor

VIDOR - By Justin Hinton, KFDM News:

A new memorial dedicated to Orange County veterans killed during the Vietnam War will soon stand on the Fields of Freedom grounds in Vidor.

Most Vietnam War memorials that you see including the one in Washington and the one they're building in Austin, just list names. That's all, said Army veteran Jerry Gatch. I thought that's not enough. These guys are more than just names, a lot more.

Gatch and a team of individuals started researching different veterans from Orange County killed in Vietnam. When they finished, they had 28 names. From there, they contacted relatives to find pictures and articles about the men.

Take for instance, JC Guillory. The first man killed from Orange city, second man killed from Orange County. First black man to die in Vietnam from Orange County, he said.

He also discovered the first and last men from Orange County that died in Vietnam were both from Vidor.

Gatch says although this memorial is dedicated solely to Vietnam War veterans from Orange County, everyone helped construct it.

We had veterans from the Middle East War, Vietnam War, Korea and World War II all out here working on this memorial, he said.

The heavy lifting is done. To complete the final portion, Gatch says he needs money.

The Stark 64 Veterans Association of Orange has raised just under $9,000. He says they need about $11,500 more to finish.

"Building this, we spent $13,000, so we're not only broke, but my retirement fund is in a hurt too. That's where it came from," he said.
He is hopeful that everything will be completed before May, just in time for Memorial Day.

 If you'd like to donate contact Jerry Gatch at (409) 920-4601.

Click here for a complete look at the plan for the Orange County Vietnam War Memorial.
Veterans Memorial in Vidor

Wednesday, March 13 2013, 10:07 AM CDT
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