NEW WHITELAND, IND (WISH) — Volunteers in New Whiteland have spent the last year working toward a memorial for Vietnam veterans.
The Joseph E. Proctor Memorial Park is named after a New Whiteland man who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
Within the park, are memorials to honor all service members, including multiple Whiteland High School grads who were killed since 9/11.
In 2012, the community dedicated their Hoosier Heroes Wall at the park. It was then, Maribeth Alspach, says community members realized they wanted to do more.
Alspach is the New Whiteland clerk/treasurer, and also on the Proctor Park Committee.
They started planning for a Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to honor those who served there, and the 1532 Indiana service members who died in Vietnam.
Frank Vaughn, of New Whiteland, served in Vietnam.
He was on active duty from 1969 to 1972. He lost friends, comrades, while serving.
Coming home for those who made it through, was difficult in its own way.
“Coming home was difficult. We knew soldiers getting spit on at the airport. I never experienced that though,” said Vaughn.
Vaughn says he did get a few thank you’s. He joined the National Guard when he got home, serving until 2012.
“We can never, never repay these heroes for what they have done,” said Maribeth Alspach.
Alspach said it was after seeing the Vietnam vets stand to be recognized at the 2012 dedication, when they realized they should do something for them.
They set a goal of raising $50,000 dollars to create a memorial. A donation jar sits in the New Whiteland town hall. They say they’ve received lots of donations and donating of services and time.
The cement for the memorial was laid last week.
They’d like to have it completed by the date of their motorcycle ride and dedication on September 27th.
They are still in need of donations to finish the project. For more information, click here.