Vietnam Veterans Memorial installed at Central Texas State Veter - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Vietnam Veterans Memorial installed at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
KILLEEN, TX (KXXV) -

The Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery is now the first veteran cemetery in Texas to have its own Vietnam veterans memorial.

"When our nation sent us to war, they weren't there to welcome us home," Troy Kelley, who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, quoted. 

That's what sparked the idea for a Vietnam Veteran Memorial. 

"Many veterans really weren't recognized as they should have been fifty years ago, so this memorial really helps heal those wounds," Kelley added. 

"This is what every soldier that wears a pair of boots and has put his foot on the ground in Vietnam, no matter what branch he served in... that's what this represents. It represents every man that served in Vietnam and put their foot on the ground.. whether it was a private or a general, don't make no difference," Robert Whitney, a Vietnam veteran, said. 

The walls of this memorial are covered in personal quotes by Vietnam veterans describing what the war was like from their eyes, and one reads "I can't tell someone else what I've been through. They either know or they don't."

"I hope that they read some of the statements, and a lot of them won't make sense to anybody except who submitted that statement," Kelley said. 

The memorial at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery honors Vietnam veterans from all branches of service.

"Many of these people who are being laid to rest here are Vietnam era or Vietnam veterans, and I think it's important to all of us Vietnam veterans that it be here. It's a symbol of what we dedicated our time in Vietnam too," Willy Williams, a Vietnam veteran, said. 

Now that the memorial stands tall on the hill overlooking the veteran cemetery, there is just one more thing to say... 

"To all Vietnam veterans and all veterans... welcome home," Williams added. 

The memorial will be dedicated on August 28th and all are welcome to attend.

The memorial cost around $40,000, all of which came from generous donations. 

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