DESOTO COUNTY, Fla. - Veterans groups in DeSoto County are bringing a Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall to the area. The wall is housed in Brevard County and it's been the centerpiece at events all over the country.
Now, this December, it will be in Southwest Florida. Local veterans need the community's support to make it the event they say it should be.
Veteran Lee Gallagher wears his service with pride.
"I served in the United States Marine Corp from 1988 to 1991," he says.
That same sense of pride and partiotism has kept him determined to bring a Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall to DeSoto County. And now, after three years of waiting, it's coming.
"It's a honor that we're going to have it in this small community," he adds.
But one that's home to more than 3,000 veterans year round including County Commissioner Buddy Mansfield. He's visted the memorial walls that have come through other counties.
"It makes your heart want to fall out of your chest, just pride that you have for the people that gave it all," he says.
The wall will be on display at the Turner Center on Pearl Harbor Day. The roughly $7,000 to pay for it is covered. But organizers want to raise an additional 25 and 30-thousand to make the weekend event about all those heroes in uniform past and present.
"We'll be able to incorporate the WWII Veterans, the Vietnam Veterans and then we'll have other events that bring in your Afghanistan, Iraq, Desert Storm and Korean War Veterans," Gallagher adds.
Helping everyone remember.
"Freedom... people need to know it's truly not free, somebody pays for it everyday," he adds.
Organizers are trying to get businesses in the area to sponsor the event.
If you are interested in supporting the cause, contact Gallagher directly at 863-993-4860, or email firstname.lastname@example.org