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GIDDINGS, Texas – A $24,600 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Giddings will help fund the completion of the initial phase of the Veterans Honor Park in the city’s downtown.
The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $22,600 in matching funds, will boost the project launched in 2016 by the not-for-profit Lee County Texas Veterans Association.
The project’s first phase, which should be completed this summer, will include “honor walls” that list veterans from Lee County. A separate wall will honor the county’s veterans who were killed in action.
Designed as a tranquil setting where veterans and their families can gather to reflect, the memorial will be located within Veterans Park, on land donated by the city. The honor park also will have a 15-foot-high, gray granite monument recognizing the six branches of the U.S. military. Individual flagpoles will display the flag of each military branch along with the POW/MIA flag and the Texas flag.
“When I announced this grant at our meeting, everyone went through the roof,” said Ryan Marshall, fundraising chairman for the Lee County Texas Veterans Association. “We are so thankful. This is just huge for us that we can now complete Phase 1.”
The honor park was dedicated on Armed Forces Day on May 15. As part of the ceremony, a C-5 military transport flew over the site. Military vehicles and memorabilia also were displayed at the event. In the future, the Lee County Texas Veterans Association plans to add an amphitheater and a searchable kiosk containing the names of the honored veterans and their locations on the honor walls.
Marshall, who served in the U.S. Air Force for more than 26 years, said he knows firsthand of the respect Lee County residents have for the military. He and his wife recently moved to Lee County, where his wife, the former Dawn Christiansen, grew up. During his time as an Air Force pilot, which included flying C-5 transports and KC-135 refueling tankers, he said Lee County residents frequently sent messages of support to him and his family.
“I’ve had the opportunity to live all over this country and a few other countries during my service, and there are very few communities that support veterans as well as Lee County,” he said. “I think it means a lot to have this park as a focal point for veterans.”
The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Giddings is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.