Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America, commissioned a special coin in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park on South Little Creek Road, Dover.
The commemorative coin was designed by chapter members Ken Bodine and Woody Postle and includes a listing of the park's memorials on one side and the CASH — Canines Assisting Service Heroes — emblem on the reverse. The CASH program purchases and provides training for service dogs for veterans who qualify for them. All of the proceeds from the limited edition $10 coins will go toward maintaining the memorial park.
"It's been a long process," said Chapter Vice President Paul Davis, who will serve as keynote speaker at the chapter’s annual Veterans Day ceremony at 2 p.m. Nov. 11.
In brief overview, after being ceded 1 1/2-acres by Kent County in 2007, the chapter raised private funds through brick sales to honor Kent Countians lost in Vietnam.
Dedicated on a snowy Veterans Day in 2009, the park grew to include memorials to Gold Star Mothers and Families, and to those lost in Korea and the Middle East.
Later inclusions were a Huey “Dustoff”: helicopter, a War Dog memorial and a POW/MIA Chair of Honor that completed the park in 2017.
"It was our way of living up to the VVA motto, 'Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another,'" said Davis.
The park is a source of community pride with the city and state adding signs to direct visitors to it. One of those signs attracted an out-of-state visitor who, along with her children, spent a summer afternoon visiting and learning about the memorials and their history.
Her visit was followed by a heartfelt letter of thanks and a contribution. The chapter responded by offering an invitation for her and her children to lead the crowd in the pledge of allegiance at the coming ceremony, which she accepted.
Coins can be purchased at the Nov. 11 ceremony or at Forney’s Too Gift Shop, 102 W. Loockerman St., Dover.
“We are proud to be part of this effort,” said Gary Knox, Forney's Too Gift Shop owner.