ROSWELL, N.M (KRQE) - It had run into some roadblocks, but now it looks like smooth sailing for a monument to honor veterans in southeastern New Mexico. Now the race is on to get it done by September 11th.
It began with one veteran who served in Iraq, and returned home in 2006. Michael Trujillo served in the military for 23 years in the Army and the New Mexico National Guard.
"During that time, I saw a lot of things," Trujillo said. "It changed me a lot to appreciate the things we have here, that we take for granted a lot here in our great nation."
Upon his return, he wanted changes to be made to the Chaves County war memorial to honor those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Chaves County war memorial was intended to be an addition to the Veterans Memorial in front of the Chaves County Administrative Center.
"The old memorial, we can't move it, we can't add to it, and what we did add to it just doesn't look right," Trujillo explained. The new memorial will be centered around the courthouse flagpole, downtown on Main Street.
"I think it's awesome because it's the middle of Roswell, it's right here in front of the county courthouse, and it's the respect those guys deserve," said Trujillo.
The project will cost nearly $200,000, and some of the funds are coming from the Chaves County Commission. The rest is being raised by the community.
"The county commission has put down that money for it, but we're trying to repay that debt to the county," explained Chaves County Veterans War Memorial committee member, Douglas Shaw.
The war memorial committee is raising money by selling bricks at a hundred dollars a piece. They'll be engraved with the name of a veteran, and then placed on the ground surrounding the new monument.
"The way we've figured it out, and the way the architect has set out the bricks, there is enough there to pay for the entire memorial," said Shaw. He said it could, however, take years to repay.
Construction will begin next week, and the dedication ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, September 10th in front of the Chaves County Courthouse.
So far the fundraising campaign has collected nearly $18,000. In total, the space can fit about 2,000 bricks, so the committee expects to raise even more money once the monument is revealed.
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