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Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Groundbreaking March 24 and 25, 2013

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The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument will mark its groundbreaking by paying special honor to the 3,417 Texans who died in the Vietnam War. Read on for a full description of all events.

March 24, 2013
• 08:30 – 5:30 Reading of the Names at the LBJ Presidential Library. Open to the public.

An historic Reading of the Names of the 3,417 Texans who died in Vietnam conducted by more than 110 volunteers will be held at the Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library from 8:30 a.m.– 5:30 p.m. On the same day, the Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit of 3,417 hand-stamped dog tags honoring each Texan will open in the Great Hall of the LBJ Library. Parking and admission at the Library are free. Several family members of Texans killed in the Vietnam War will be participating in both the Reading of the Names. Hundreds of Texas Vietnam veterans from across the state are expected to attend.

• 6:00 – 9:00 Reception Honoring Veterans and Families, Scholz’s Beer Garten,
1607 San Jacinto Blvd.

A casual reception for Vietnam veterans and their families following the Reading of the Names. Please respond at the link above as soon as possible, as our guest capacity is limited.
March 25, 2013

• 10:00 A.M. Groundbreaking Ceremony on the Capitol grounds.
• Dedication of the 3,417 Hero Tags
• Keynote by Texan Joe Galloway
• Procession to deliver the Hero Tags to the monument foundry
• 2:00 P.M. Hero Tags Ceremony at Deep In The Heart Art Foundry in Bastrop

The monument Groundbreaking Ceremony will take place on the Texas Capitol Grounds at 10:00 a.m. Texan Joe Galloway, the combat correspondent whose best-selling book We Were Soldiers Once, and Young, recounts the battle for which he was the only civilian awarded the Bronze Star with a ‘V” for Valor, will deliver the keynote address. Ms. Karoni Forrester, the Texas State Coordinator of the National League of families, will also speak. Forrester’s father, U.S. Marine Corps pilot Captain Ronald Wayne Forrester was shot down in Vietnam and remains among those listed as Missing In Action. Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument will honor all Texans who served in the Armed Forces in the Vietnam War, which officially ended 50 years ago. The 3,417 Texas Heroes of the war will be individually remembered by the entombment of personalized “Hero Tags” bearing their name, rank, branch of service, hometown and date of loss.

U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veterans Don Dorsey and James Hart are hand-stamping each tag. The Hero Tags will be dedicated for entombment during the Groundbreaking, then carried in vintage military vehicles accompanied by Patriot Guard and Combat Veteran Motorcycle Riders to Bastrop. The people of Bastrop will host a Receiving Ceremony at 2:00 p.m. at the Deep in the Heart Art Foundry where the bronze monument is being built. The monument, now in the clay stage of production, will be available for public viewing at the foundry. A duplicate set of the Hero Tags will be displayed for the public in the Texas Vietnam Heroes exhibit.

Overnight Accommodations
Arrangements have been made for housing those attending the Reading of the Names/Groundbreaking on March 24, 25. Due to the NCAA conducting a preliminary round of the college basketball tournament in Austin, rooms close to the capitol are at a premium. However, two blocks of rooms have been secured:

• If you are planning on coming in on Sunday, March 24th for one night, rooms are available at a rate of $79 at the Marriott Spring Hill Suites South. That rate is good through February 15. The reservation link: Springhill Suites Austin South; Reservation code - tvvtvva (Saturday night rooms are available, but at a rate of $149). Hotel Phone: 512-441-8270.

• If your plans are to arrive Friday or Saturday, the 22nd or 23rd staying until Monday, the 25th, we have a block of rooms available at $89 per night at the Springhill Suites Austin Round Rock. The reservation link: Springhill Suites Austin Round Rock; Reservation code - VETVETA; Hotel Phone: 512-733-6700.

Please direct any housing questions to Brian Archimbaud, 512-466-1090, brian.buildthemonument@gmail.com.

Capitol Area Parking
Parking availability in the area of the Capitol complex can be extremely limited especially during a legislative session. A visitors parking garage is located nearby, but heavily used. Please plan accordingly.