The Pinal County Veterans Memorial Foundation is building a memorial in Pinal County to honor all the fallen soldiers who were from Pinal County. The foundation is building this memorial to honor not only the fallen soldiers but for all veterans who fought to keep this country free.
The Pinal County Veterans Memorial motto is “Their Sacrifice --- Our Challenge to Remember.”
In 2010, Frank Reyes, Army veteran as well as a former Pinal County sheriff for 24 years, found that Pinal County did not have one place to honor all service members who fought and died defending our country.
His vision was that a memorial be built so that veterans and families could come and not only seek solace but to educate the children that freedom is not free.
The memorial will hold on the walls all the names of the fallen soldiers who died in battle. The plans will have a park-like setting with the memorial wall, a kiosk as well as picnic tables and sidewalks honoring all veterans who have served.
In November 2019, PCVMF broke ground for this memorial at the entrance to the Paul Mason Sportsplex in Casa Grande.
The plans are to have the memorial finished and open to the public by Memorial Day 2021. The cost of this project is estimated to be close to $350,000. PCVMF has raised over half of that through fundraisers. We are now soliciting donors and corporate sponsors to help raise the rest. We have five different donation tiers from $1,000 up to $25,000. For more details, contact us at our email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 2010, Nancy Fassbender, who is on the PCVMF board, has been collecting names of over 250 fallen soldiers and documenting all their information. She has found through her research that there are stories to be told about these heroes.
I wrote a book called “My Fallen Hero,” which has many interesting stories of the individual fallen soldiers. The book is selling for $25, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to the memorial. Those who are interested, check out our website, pcvmf.org, to order.
It includes where they grew up, which armed service they enlisted in as well as the battle which they fought in. You will find stories which have interesting facts and a few chuckles. This book also contains many more interesting stories, for instance, what the Monopoly Game was used for in World War II, one of the Japanese Relocation Centers and a few stories of service animals --- especially the story about the pigeon named G.I. Joe.
Since the COVID-19 virus, our fundraisers have taken a major hit. We are selling pavers to anyone who wishes to place their name or honor their loved ones. These pavers will be placed on the grounds leading up to the memorial. At the present time, we are selling the pavers for $150 each.
On Aug. 8 we will have a bowling tournament fundraiser. This will be held at Casa Grande Cotton Bowl. The second fundraiser will be a golf tournament held at Florence Poston Butte Golf Course. Anyone interested in signing up to participate and/or be a sponsor of either these two events, contact Donna Stadum at 480-332-6916.
We would like to invite all in attending one of our meetings; they are held the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. at the VFW, 111 E. Second St. in Casa Grande.
Editor’s note: Gold Canyon resident Nancy Fassbender is a board member of the Pinal County Veterans Memorial Foundation and the author of “My Fallen Hero.”