Even more Barton County veterans who deserve to be included on the Golden Belt Veterans Memorial but don’t have the financial resources to pay for the engraving will have the opportunity to be honored, thanks to an anonymous donation made through the Golden Belt Community Foundation.
The Barton County Commission Monday morning accepted the $1,000 gift, offered following an article in the Great Bend Tribune two weeks ago. That story outlined the Tribune’s $1,000 donation made in 2014, all but a $100 of which has already been utilized by deserving vets.
The day after that story ran, County Administrator Richard Boeckman said he was contacted by GBCF Executive Director Christy Tustin. She had just been called by one of her donors who had read the piece and wanted to help.
Tustin said the couple specified that the funds are to be used to assist veterans needing assistance paying for their listings on the memorial. “The county has done a really good job stretching these funds and using them where they need to be used.”
Now, Tustin said more folks may be willing to step up and help. “There are a lot of deserving veterans.”
The memorial project has been in the works for many years. The first stone was dedicated on Veterans Day last November and it is hoped the second stone will be dedicated some time this year.
The two stones that will flank a center obelisk, which has already been installed. In addition to the stones, there are flags representing the branches of service, including Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, Navy and Merchant Marines.
There are the names of 377 vets with ties to Barton County etched into the tablet, Boeckman said. The names represent all branches of the military.
At $45 per line, 540 had to be sold before the first stone could be ordered. Some entries take more than one line.
Now, the county is trying to sell the remaining space on the second stone.
Qualifications to be included are proof that the veteran was at least at one time a Barton County residency and an honorable discharge from the military. The veteran can be living or deceased, and active-duty service members are also eligible.
The memorial is located in Golden Belt Memorial Park, located north of Great Bend at 59 NW 50 Road.
Those wanting to purchase a spot on the memorial can bring their payments to the Barton County Administrator’s Office in room 107 of the courthouse at 1400 Main in Great Bend. For more information, call 620-793-1800.
Checks must be made payable to Barton County.