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Vietnam vets to get monument in Preston

REEDSVILLE — Vietnam Veterans Chapter 977 met recently at the Reedsville Volunteer Fire Department  to discuss a monument they will place on the courthouse lawn in Kingwood.

The monument is being placed in honor of all Preston County Vietnam veterans who served during or remain missing in the Vietnam war.

During the meeting, Jennifer Field said the three-piece black marble monument cost $19,705. She said it will cost $3,500 to deliver and set.

“The concrete base will be 40 inches deep, 102 inches long and 14 inches wide,” she said. The monument weighs 4,888 pounds.

Field said she had to go the West Virginia Historical Society in Charleston for approval. She said Preston County Administrator Kathy Mace told her she would try to expedite the approval, so the monument could be in place by May 30.

“If nothing else, she said she would get a waiver,” Field said. “The concrete must cure for a week, since it’s being drilled (for  reinforcing bar to keep the monument in place). A site sign has been ordered from Affordable Signs.”

Once the monument is in place, it will be turned over to the Preston County Commission for perpetual care.

The Vietnam War lasted from Nov. 1, 1955, to April 30, 1975, according to Congress considers the Vietnam Era to be the period beginning on Feb. 28, 1961, and ending  May 7, 1975. 

In March 1965, President Lyndon Johnson launched a three-year campaign of sustained bombing of targets in North Vietnam and the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Operation Rolling Thunder. The same month, U.S. Marines land on beaches near Da Nang, South Vietnam as the first American combat troops to enter Vietnam.

In 1982 the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., inscribed with the names of 57,939 members of U.S. armed forces who had died or were missing as a result of the war. During the following years, additions to the list have brought the total past 58,200.

Names of Vietnam War casualties from West Virginia can be found at

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