Funds needed to build new Persian Gulf Memorial at Old Glory Memorial

EL PASO, Texas – The only military operations not mentioned at the Old Glory Site in northeast El Paso are the Gulf operations. Granite memorials to Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and the War on Terror will soon be erected at the site. However, the group building the memorials needs more funds to complete the project.

The proposed memorial will consist of four separate granite walls representing each of the above operations. Pictures, maps, medals and explanations will be added to each wall to show important details of each conflict.

“More than 4.7 million service members have deployed over the past 30 years,” said Gulf Memorial Committee Co-Chair Randy Carothers. Carothers is a veteran himself and was deployed to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom the day before Thanksgiving in 2002.

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“It’s important to mention these guys because this information isn’t taught in schools. Kids have no idea what grandpa or grandma was doing in the 90s,” he continued. “I can bring my grandchildren to the memorial and I can show them what I did, I was here…[and] point to it on the map.”

But such a memorial is not only for educational purposes, it is also for healing. Veteran Mike Baker was an aircraft mechanic in the Army but eventually retired from the Air Force.

“Healing, a lot of us have to heal,” Baker said. “Aircraft mechanics don’t usually get shot in the Air Force. But our friends do, ‘…”and people like me who have breadwinner’s guilt, because I retired in 2001, and right after I retired, nine friends of mine died.’

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Even after 21 years, Baker found it difficult to talk about his fallen brothers in arms.

“It means a lot to me personally that I’ve lost nine friends, and it’s just a healing process. And that to me is, ‘…you can’t forget the people who served,'” he stressed.

This memorial will be a meaningful and important reminder to those who have passed away, but also to those who have survived military operations. Here’s what the group needs from you:

“We’re about $10,000 short of that goal right now, and we really need the support of the community and businesses in El Paso to help make it happen,” Carothers said. This is the final round of fundraising for the group, as the memorial is estimated to cost a total of $50,000.

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There are several ways you can donate to build the Gulf Memorial as soon as possible. You can donate in person at the Old Glory Memorial in the Northeast, but if you do, be sure to write “Gulf Memorial” on the envelope so they can receive the funds. You can go to their Facebook page here to ask directly how to donate. Or you can donate directly to the organization via Paypal at Vernon Carothers, Cashapp at $VernonCarothers or Venmo at @Vernon-Carothers.

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