Support our veterans through project

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Many of us have seen the television commercial for an insurance company that specializes in providing insurance for active and military personnel and their families. Family members are expressing their heartfelt thanks to the service members, and you truly feel that the level of sincerity reveals them to be actual family members — people who are deeply grateful to their loved ones for their service.

The Vidalia Garden Club is now offering the Miss-Lou community another way to express gratitude to our veterans who have so generously and courageously served our country.

Bricks etched with a veteran’s personal information are still available for purchase and will be installed at the city’s Blue Star Memorial area located on Carter Street next to the Concordia Chamber of Commerce. These have become a unique and lasting way to pay tribute to our military for their service to our country.

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With the club’s Blue Star Memorial Brick Project reaching its mid-way point, VGC members are reaching out to the community to continue to honor its veterans, our very own heroes, with these bricks engraved in their honor.

The bricks sell for $25 each and may honor any living or deceased member of the U.S. Military.

The bricked area is in front of the Blue Star Memorial Plaque and, once complete, it will be enhanced with concrete garden benches placed to each side. The project calls for approximately 500 bricks to fill the 12- by 12-foot area, and approximately half of the area is complete. The Blue Star Plaque will also be refurbished early next year.

Purchasers may select three to four lines of information (depending upon the size of the lettering selected), and could include the honoree’s name, rank and possibly the years of service and branch of the military and/or the war in which he or she may have served, if applicable. The choice of wording is completely decided by the brick donor.

Vidalia Garden Club members are extremely proud to watch this tribute to our nation’s military come to fruition, with the help of so many in the Miss-Lou and beyond.  Many bricks honor former and current members of the Louisiana National Guard Unit based in Vidalia, the 1086th Transportation Company.

It has been very touching to see the honored veterans’ names as they arrive on the order forms — young people who are still serving in our Armed Forces, many of whom have served tours in Iraq or Afghanistan, to those who served during Vietnam, the Korean War, World War I or World War II. At least one was MIA for many years, some others were POWs. No matter when they served — during peacetime or war — they all truly deserve our gratitude.

Even though the brick project is not quite complete, it is most interesting to stop by for a few moments and read the names of those already there — and reflect on the sacrifices they and their families made for our country.

Brick order forms are available at the Concordia Chamber of Commerce office or by calling VGC Project Chairman Ann Thompson at 318-336-5018 or me at 318-336-7057.


Kathleen Stevens is a co-chair for the Blue Star Memorial project.