The long effort to build a monument at the Texas Capitol honoring hundreds of thousands of Texans who served in the Vietnam War is finally on the way to reality. Work on the 14-foot bronze sculpture has begun at the Deep in the Heart Art Foundry in Bastrop, Texas.
The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument project was approved by the Texas Legislature in 2005 by legislation co-sponsored by Vietnam veterans Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and Representative Wayne Smith. Since then, a committee chaired by veteran Robert Floyd has worked tirelessly to raise the necessary funds to build the monument.
"Thanks to the support of Texas individuals, veteran organizations, foundations, and corporations, and with a $500,000 matching grant from the Texas Historical Commission, we have now reached 80% of our fundraising goal," said Floyd. "We are absolutely delighted to announce that production of the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument has begun."
The 14-foot bronze sculpture by artist Duke Sundt features five infantry figures poised in patrol positions. On the base surrounding the fighting unit are bas relief panels depicting naval, artillery, medical and aviation services that supported the combat patrol. The 3,415 Texans killed in Vietnam will be remembered by "dog tags" personalized with each man's name, military service, hometown and date of loss. The 3,415 tags will be entombed inside the monument.
The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument will be installed on the northeast side of the Capitol grounds. Dedication is tentatively scheduled to occur in the fall of 2013.
The monument is accompanied by an online "Living Monument" featuring profiles of Texans who served in the Vietnam War to extend the monument's educational reach. For more information and to stay updated on the Monument's progress , visit www.buildthemonument.org.