Veterans hope to build memorial in Socorro
SOCORRO, Texas (CBS4) —
With a little bit of hope and a lot of dedication-- veterans in Socorro hope to build the first monument to commemorate their service to their country.
"What I want to do is give something back to the kids from Socorro and give something back to their kids," said Sgt. Jesse Montelongo who retired from the U.S. Army.
The Socorro Veterans acquired 3.3 acres of land near Buford and Socorro Rd., in front of the old Diamond Shamrock station, according to Montelongo.
“We have three years to finish this project. SISD [Socorro Independent School District] helped us acquire the property," said Montelongo.
Every person who is included in the monument must have a DD214, documents showing their military records, or medals and documents certifying their home is in Socorro, according to Montelongo.
"Once they show that, they will also not just be in the granite wall engraved, but they’ll also be in the museum. Their pictures, their family, whatever their family can supply." said Montelongo.
So far, Montelongo says they know of 58 names that will go on the memorial, but they have space for plenty more.
“We need more veterans to get involved. A lot of veterans in Socorro don’t even know about us," said Montelongo.
The memorial, which resembles the Socorro Mission, was designed by Julio Sanchez de Alba, according to Montelongo.
"We want to put granite walls and San Miguel, the protector of the soldiers. We want to put each war represented with different uniforms along with windows with all the veterans that died in Socorro and the ones who are still alive in Socorro," said Montelongo.
The price tag for the memorial is starting at $100,000, an amount the veterans already started fundraising.
“We have bricks for $25 with our names. They say we served in the service and some kind of notation on them. We’ll have them setup in the concrete,” said Juan Ernesto Lopez, a member of Socorro Veterans.
The Socorro Veterans Memorial is a 501 (C) (3) Non-Profit Veterans Organization. Their Federal Identification is #81-3106278. The mail address is Socorro Veterans Memorial, P.O. Box 290901 Socorro, TX 79929.
The group gathers at Petro on Horizon and I-10. Their next meeting will be Jan. 13 starting at 9 a.m. Anyone with questions can email firstname.lastname@example.org