Woodland Park community trying to restore veteran’s memorial that was replaced by public toilet

Woodland Park community trying to restore the Memorial for (LCpl) Eric Dickson, the only known Teller County causality from the Vietnam War

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. —  A veteran’s memorial fountain was vandalized, torn down and replaced by a public toilet. Now, a group of people in Woodland Park is saying enough is enough.

Lance Cpl. Eric V. Dickson was the only Teller County causality during the Vietnam War.

Right now, just a plaque stands for him at Avenue of the Flags, or Lions Park, which is at the corner of Highways 24 and 67.

Community members are hoping to convince city council to place a life-size bronze statue and the existing plaque in Woodland Park’s Memorial Park.

They say the place where it is now is too clogged by traffic and parking is a nightmare.

Dickson graduated from Woodland Park High School and was always respectful to the community. That’s why a group of seven people formed the Eric V. Dickson Memorial Project.

“He was class president, he was on the athletic teams, he helped out so many in the community that for him to have had his memorial vandalized then essentially tossed away by the city is just not appropriate,” said Timothy McMillin Sr., committee member for the project.

The group’s goal is to raise $60,000 by March, so they can dedicate the memorial on March 29. They said the day is extra special because not only is it National Vietnam Veterans Day, but it’s also the 50th anniversary of Dickson’s passing.

“We want Eric to be memorialized as he should be. He is a true hero. He lives on here in Teller County and Woodland Park today. He’s a symbol for our veterans,” said McMillin.

While the group has already received some donations from the community, a popular Woodland Park business is also helping out. Owners of the historic Ute Inn are donating 25 cents for every beer sold to the project.

“To be able to do something for the community and help remember those who served our country, that’s what it’s all about,” said U.S. Army (Ret.) Elijah Murphy, co-owner of the Ute Inn.

Project members said they’ll continue the memorial fund even after it’s built, to help other Teller County veterans.

“Because his memorial was originally constructed and then vandalized and removed, the continuation of the fund and supporting and helping veterans is a way to make sure that never happens again,” said McMillin.

The group said they’ll need a third of the money, or $20,000, by August 10, so the artist can start working.

If you’d like to donate to the cause, the group has set up a donation account. All you have to do is send or take money into any Colorado Ent Credit Union and specify you want to donate to the Eric V. Dickson Memorial Project.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s