Whitewright unveils new monument to honor local Vietnam veterans

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WHITEWRIGHT, TX -- The Vietnam Veterans of America dedicated a new monument Saturday honoring four hometown men who gave their lives fighting in the Vietnam War.

"To those of us who served, it's terribly important," said Bob Hillerby, with the VVA.

The idea to honor the veterans started with the VVA.

"You know we need to have a monument to honor these," Hillerby said.

VVA member Jerry Ford said the project started about a year ago planning a design and raising donations.

"A lot of hard work," he said.

Hillerby said one of their members got the ball rolling by researching the four men listed.

"Then, went so far as to locate and contact the families of all these fallen service men," he said.

The names on the monument are Gerald Ballard, Jimmy Burchfield, Ronald Gene Pace and Michael Bow.

But Hillerby said it honors more than just these four men.

"It affects not only the soldiers, but it also affects the families of those who are killed," he said.

He said the monument is a way to remind future generations of the tragedies war causes.

"War is not a video game. You can't just come home and push the reset button and everything comes back to normal," he said.

Ford said it's important to remember the sacrifices of these men.

"We have an old saying that says some gave some. Some gave all. And the four gentlemen that are on that gave it all," he said.

Hillerby said he's moved by the work and dedication the community put into making the monument happen.

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