The initiative launched by the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce seeks to redesign the pedestal of the F-111 aircraft display at Carl Miller Park as a lasting tribute to those who currently serve or previous were part of the U.S. armed forces.
"The City of Boise was working on a military walkway and we wanted to do something similar, and lo and behold, we have an F-111," said chamber president Lisa Harvel. The idea took off from there.
The plan involves engraving individual bricks with the names of veterans along with their service branch and any wars they served in during their military career. Using two sizes of bricks measuring either four by eight or eight by eight inches, it would give families an option of how they wish to recognize their loved one.
Work on the memorial is currently scheduled to start Oct. 1. To meet this deadline, the chamber of commerce needs people in the community to place their orders by Sept. 30.
According to chamber executive director Mindy Cuevas, the larger sides of the pedestal can hold between 800 to 850 of these engraved bricks. The smaller stones can hold up to 45 characters of text, including word spacing, while the larger ones can feature up to 90 characters.
The goal is to cover all four sides of the pedestal with any additional bricks incorporated around the base of the military fighter display.
Harvel emphasized that the memorial isn't limited to those who lived in the Mountain Home community or at the nearby Air Force base. The chamber president hopes to include a brick for her father, a Korean War veteran currently living in California, along with ones dedicated to her father in law as well as her husband and son.
Others buying bricks for the new memorial include Mayor Tom Rist and his wife, Shirley. The mayor ordered one for his father, Charles W. Rist, who served in the Navy during World War II. Shirley Rist's father, Julian Hexum, served in the military during World War II and the Korean War before he retired from the Air Force after 28 years of service.
The cost is $75 for the four-by-eight inch bricks with the eight-by-eight versions selling for $150 a piece. Families also have the option of ordering a duplicate version of their engraved brick for an additional $40 or $60 respectively.
For more information on the military brick wall display, call the chamber office at 587-4334 or go online to www.mountainhomechamber.com.