AUSTIN (KXAN) - Crews will break ground on the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Monday morning, almost 40 years after the fall of Saigon. The tribute itself has been a decade in the making. It took an act of legislation to get the project approved.
Sunday, hundreds of veterans and their families got a close look a the design. The Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit opened at the LBJ Library on the University of Texas campus. A replica of the monument is on display at the exhibit. It's about one fifth the size of the real thing--which will stand 14 feet tall.
Carra Snowden Elkins attended the exhibit opening to remember her older brother Ben Snowden.
"He went into the service and he was not even of age," Elkins said, "He got mother and daddy to sign for him."
The family is from Georgetown, Tx. They grew up on a farm. Twelve years after Snowden enlisted, while serving his third tour of duty, he was killed behind enemy lines.
"Ben was 29 when he was killed," said Elkins, "He's been in our hearts and thoughts for forever."
Now, she and others will have something more tangible in the Capital City--a monument and a memorial--made up of thousands of military tags.
"I had to come down here. I had to see the name tag," Elkins said.
3,417 dog tags are part of the memorial exhibit in the LBJ Library. On each one--the name of a Texan killed in the Vietnam War. Don Dorsey, a Vietnam veteran himself, made each tag.
"I was making them at a rate of about 25 tags per hour, when I was rockin' and rollin'," said Dorsey, "I finished four days ago."
Dorsey had to make two sets of the dog tags, because a second set will actually be a permanent part of the monument, which will be installed on the north east side of the Capitol.
Dorsey says the work and the time--both getting the monument authorized and getting the tags made--is all well worth the effort..
"There's nothing good about war. Wars are fought by good people, though, and those people should be remembered," Dorsey said.
Memorials, monuments, and even little dog tags, give people like Elkins something to hold on to.
"It happened so long ago, but it's still like yesterday," she said.
Her brother, Ben Snowden, was honored posthumously with a Silver Star. The VFW in Georgetown is named after him.
The Texas Capitol Vietnam Monument groundbreaking is set for 10:00 Monday morning.
A local road project more than two decades in the making won't save drivers as much time as many had hoped.
The University of Texas Board of Regents adjourned Thursday without taking action on the job status of embattled UT President Bill Powers.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown talked with reporters Thursday for the first time since reports surfaced this week that he could be stepping down.
Two men were arrested and a third was being sought by police for the shooting death of 47-year-old Russell Martens.
Parking arrangements are a bit different this year at Austin's Trail of Lights, but there are options to suit just about anybody.
After two hours of discussion regarding the final design for Auditorium Shores, the Austin City Council decided to approve the design on a vote of 7-0 with amendments.