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Rendering courtesy ndswm.org

Gallery+Story: El Paso Veteran Leading Fight to Build ‘Desert Storm War Memorial’

The last time I was in Washington D.C., I took the time to visit the Vietnam War Memorial. I wanted to visit because members of my family and some close friends were in that war; I wanted to experience the memorial that honors those who lost their lives in the war.

It was awe-inspiring, to say the least.

As I was walking along the Memorial, I began to wonder just how a war memorial comes about, how it goes from conception to being built.

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with David Nevarez, who is working on the Desert Storm War Memorial.  In no time, I’ve learned that there is a lot of footwork involved in getting it built at the National Mall.

David was with the 5th Marine Division, in charge of logistics, and movement of all elements of the 5th Division. “My involvement was 18 ships, 10,000 Marines and sailors, 36 short tons and 349 military aircraft.” He points out it should have been 350 aircraft, but “Arnold Schwarzenegger used the last aircraft to send gym equipment to the guys in the Middle East.”

Senate Joint Resolution 1 was signed by into law by President Trump on March 31 st of this year. “That has allowed us to enter into fundraising full-tilt. We are trying to secure Site One, which is around 23rd [and] Constitution in DC.”

Site One is near the Vietnam War Memorial. “The reason for that location is that it is a tip of the hat to the Vietnam Vet,” David said. “The welcome home we received was tremendous from the Vietnam Veterans. Also, a lot of our instructors were Vietnam era military.”

Just as Desert Storm was a multi-national coalition, the building of the Desert Storm Memorial is also a multi-national.” As David works here, in Texas to bring about the Memorial, there are individuals in Oman, Kuwait, Dubai, among other countries, and parts of the United States.

There is the prototype of the memorial at NDSWM website.  “It suits the National Parks requirements of being low to the ground, doesn’t interfere with the skyline.”

David said it looks like a comma, which is to represent the sweeping action of the armed forces when they went in and took Kuwait.

“What we need now is for people to write to Mr. Glenn DeMarr, he is the Secretary to the Memorial Advisory Commission. We ask that you write in your words why the Desert Storm Memorial should be built.” They prefer that “snail-mail” rather than e-mail.

“We still have a soldier who is MIA over there,” David said. “There are also the service members we lost. That’s why it’s important to me that we have the Memorial.”

“This is very important…so many of us went and sacrificed for Desert Storm. So many of us re-enlisted for this,” David added.

It is time to honor those who gave, and this is a fitting way to begin. For more information, David says you can give him a call at 915-407- 0826

The deadline for the letter writing campaign is May 15, 2017.

National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission

Attn: Glenn DeMarr, Secretary to the Commission

1100 Ohio Drive, S.W., Room 220

Washington, D.C., 20242

About Steven Cottingham

Steven Cottingham is an artist, poet (haiku, tanka, senryu) as well as a photographer. Growing up, he wanted to be a columnist, as well as photojournalist. Life, and poor decision, led him down a different path. Today, Steven is chasing those dreams. He is currently working on his next book, as well as starting a small poetry journal. You may visit Steven, online, at www.StevenCottinghamPhotography.com

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3 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this important news. I discovered the link in a discussion group I belong to. No other paper seems to want to cover this. I am glad someone is.

    I was stationed at Ft. Bliss three years ago.

  2. The ladies an I wrote our letters today. Ready for mailing.

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