2 Arkansas veterans advance Gulf War memorial plans in DC


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Two Arkansas Gulf War veterans are leading a campaign to build a Desert Storm War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Jeff Kurczek and Brenten Byrd serve on the board for the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2sFAebL ) reported.

“It’s time to get the word out and get it done,” Kurczek said.

U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Arkansas, has helped the veterans and supported the campaign by guiding their proposals through Congress twice.

Former President Barack Obama signed legislation in 2014 that authorized the monument to be built. President Donald Trump also gave his approval this year and signed a resolution that allows the memorial to be built in the capital’s monument zone.

The National Park Service will hold a hearing for two proposed sites later this month. Officials will invite the public to comment on the proposal.

A design for the memorial includes a 150-foot wall and includes the names of veterans who lost their lives in the battle.

Funding for the monument has started, and construction is estimated to cost $25 million.

The Gulf War ignited after Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990. The war began in January 1991 and ended on Feb. 28, 1991.

Byrd said talks of the memorial came seven years ago when he and other veterans prepared to gather for ceremonies that marked the war’s 20th anniversary.

“We were just amazed back in 2010 that they hadn’t started a memorial for the Desert Storm veterans who lost their lives,” Byrd said.

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