by Tari Hampe
Morgan County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
The Morgan County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is very close to our goal to build the monument. While we still have additional expenses: permits, possible lighting, the unveiling, advertising, veterans outreach, event expenses, website hosting, etc., we are confident our recent pledges, a potential grant and upcoming events will see us through.
“We are excited to announce, after careful consideration. estimates and research from our monument building sub-committee, we have officially signed a contract with Gordon’s Memorials of McConnellsburg, PA and have sent a deposit. We will choose a date as the monument nears completion,” said Chuck Hampe, President and Founder of the memorial fund.
Each and every one of you have proven what Morgan Countians and our veterans, families and supporters from afar can do when our hearts are in such a monumental project. We have held over 40 events including, sock hops, auctions, ham and dumplin’ dinners, bake sales, picnics and more. Over 550 individuals and businesses have believed in us and made the choice to honor our Vietnam Veterans now, and for generations to come.
Countless venues in Morgan County and Hancock have hosted us and almost every business, large and small, has donated. Artist and crafts people have created beautiful works for us to auction or raffle. Avid rifle enthusiasts and antique dealers have parted with their collections while others have purchased new highly collectible rifles for us to raffle.
Businesses have sponsored our events and have provided food and money for advertising expenses. Though we are doing this for our Vietnam veterans, they have been some of our largest donors.
Our small team of volunteers have worked tirelessly on this grassroots project.
Aside from advertising, our volunteers have purchased most of our stamps, ink, office supplies and even office equipment from their own pockets. Most printing and marketing materials have been done in-house. Our attorney and accountant have given us their time. Our website was also created for free.
“Our volunteers put our heart and soul into this,” says Hampe.
527 and counting
So far, over 527 Morgan County Vietnam Veterans have met the criteria and signed up for the monument. Our volunteers have been to almost every cemetery in Morgan County, looking for that all too familiar stone bearing Vietnam. Other veterans have signed up in person or online. Our research committee have found our veterans all around the country. Veterans or next of kin must sign a consent form and provide a DD214.
You can go to our website at www.mcvvmf.org and click on “ADD A NAME” and download the consent form. If you have any questions, you can click on “CONTACT US” on any page to send an email. You can also see all the veterans who have signed up by clicking on “VETERANS.”
If you need help, call Sharon Davis at 304-308-1902 or Gary Easton at 304-676-8142. You can message us on Facebook at Morgan County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
Who can be on the memorial?
If you served and were a resident of Morgan County at birth and went to any Morgan County schools in your lifetime, you qualify.
If you enlisted or were drafted within two years of being a resident of Morgan County and attended any school in Morgan County in your lifetime, you qualify.
If you are a Vietnam Veteran who made Morgan County your home, and are still a resident of Morgan County, you qualify.
If a Vietnam Veteran who made Morgan County their home is deceased, and was a resident upon death, that veteran qualifies.
The monument will indicate those who served in country or era and those that made Morgan County their home.
The deadline for signing up is December 31, 2019.
“Please do not miss this opportunity to be honored and remembered for generations to come. We will not be adding names after the monument is built,” says Hampe.
Morgan County Vietnam Veterans can also sign up at our events and the Post 60 American Legion breakfasts on the first Saturday of every month until December 31, 2019, the official deadline.
Come support the memorial fund at the BBQ dinner at Hillbilly Heaven in Berkeley Springs on November 10 from 1 to 4 p.m., our Holiday Sock Hop at the Berkeley Springs Moose on December 14 from 7 to 11 p.m. and our final Vietnam Veterans Dinner on March 29 at Alderton-Dawson Post 60 American Legion. (RSVP only)
We still have lots of raffles and will sell our remaining tee-shirts at these events until they are gone.
We will also be honoring our $1,000 donation to the Foxglove Garden Club to help them continue the beautiful work they do in the Fairfax Green, the future home of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.