"We needed this bad. We have a lot of veterans here, a lot of veterans from the county that have been killed in World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, and in the Gulf Wars," says Howard Faley, a Korean War veteran.
What many veterans in Stephenson County want is more than just a salute at patriotic celebrations. And finally, after six years in the making, ground was broken on the All Veterans Memorial Park in Freeport.
"This'll be a great park and its long overdue. In fact, veterans parks are long overdue anywhere," says Clyde Fruth, President of the All Veterans Memorial Park of Stephenson County.
Fruth is just one the masterminds behind the park. He says the parks layout is in the shape of a "v" for a reason.
"V for valor and v for victory and you'll see that if you come back in a few months," he says.
Veterans are looking forward to the finished product, if that every happens. Every penny that has so far been raised has amounted to less then half the cost. The group needs an estimated $200,000 to complete the project. So far the donations have totaled only $60,000. But these veterans are hopeful that the community knows their money is going to a long overdue cause.
"I'd give them probably the biggest thank you that they've received in their whole life," Faley says.
We can sponsor items ranging in size from an entire wall to a brick. All donations can be mailed to:
All Veterans Memorial Park
P.O. Box 804
Freeport, IL 61032