GREENVILLE — Seventeen fallen Vietnam War servicemen will be honored with a sculpture of a battlefield cross early this fall, according to the Northeast USA Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.
The memorial, announced Thursday, will recognize the ultimate sacrifice of the 17 soldiers, many of whom are from Greene County.
The project is expected to be completed by mid-September and placed in Greenville’s Veterans Memorial Park. The park is located at the intersection of Route 81 and Route 32.
A dedication ceremony is planned for Sept. 17. The date was chosen to coincide with National POW/MIA Recognition Day on Sept. 15.
Greene County has hosted the Northeast USA Vietnam Veterans Association’s annual reunion for the last 20 years. A campaign is underway to raise money for the memorial.
“Challenge coins are being sold to fundraise and each coin costs $15,” said Tim Broder, president and vice president of the Northeast USA Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. “It is the fourth design and highly sought after.”
Most people, Broder said, have never seen a coin representing Greene County, specifically a veterans organization.
“We have a custom of presenting Challenge coins to Greene County legislators as well as the town board members of Greenville,” Broder said. “Both legislative bodies have supported the Northeast USA Vietnam Reunion Association for the 20 years we have had reunions here.”
The overall budget estimate for the monument construction is $103,000.
The time of the event is to be determined.
The monument will feature a bronze battlefield cross, rifle inside a soldier’s boot and a helmet. The memorial will also include a jet black granite “mini wall” on which the soldiers names will be engraved. The use of black granite is intended to mirror the reflective surface of the National Monument in Washington, D.C.
The fallen soldiers are: Marine Cpl. Paul Edward Albano, 22, of Hannacroix; Marine Pfc. William Michael Bagshaw of Catskill; Air Force Airman 1st Class John Irwin Cameron, 22, of Coxsackie; Marine Sgt. Norman Wilbur Clearwater of Catskill; Army 1st Lt. Eugene Jerome Curless Jr., 20, of Medusa; Marine Cpl. John Francis Dedek, 22, of Oak Hill; Marine Pfc. William John Dolan, 19; Marine Cpl. Ronald Francis Hock, 22, of New Baltimore; and Army Pfc. Arnold Melvin Hull, 20, of Oak Hill.
Also: Marine Lance Cpl. Paul Lewis, 19, of Saugerties; Army Pfc. James Ronald Oakley, 21, of Grand Gorge; Army Sgt. Tunis Rappleyea Jr., 21, of West Kill; Army Spc. 4 Michael Joseph Rowcroft, 19; Marine Cpl. Robert Bruce Schampier, 19, of Alcove; Army Warrant Officer Mark Vedder Schmidt, 26, of Leeds; Army Spc. 4 Harry Joseph Sickler, 20, of Lanesville; and Marine Staff Sgt. John Donald Wyszomirski, 28, of Catskill.
Delaware Engineering has loaned Northeast USA Vietnam Veterans $17,300 for the purchase of a flagpole.
The organization is still in it’s fundraising stage. All VFWs and American Legions within a hundred miles radius of Greenville have been contacted and are collecting on behalf of the project.
“The community is supportive of the Vietnam War Memorial Monument project and I look forward September’s event,” Greenville Town Historian Donald Teator said.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.