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Archive for Sunday, October 3, 2010

Group hoping to honor Kansans killed in Afghanistan, Iraq with memorials

October 3, 2010

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Harvey Nicholson, of Topeka, is pictured with a prototype of a soldier’s memorial he designed that he would like to have placed at a permanent memorial for Kansas soldiers who died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Army Sgt. Jacob L. Butler, of Wellsville, the featured soldier on this sample memorial, was killed on April 1, 2003, while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. “It puts a face to the name,” Nicholson said of his design.

Harvey Nicholson, of Topeka, is pictured with a prototype of a soldier’s memorial he designed that he would like to have placed at a permanent memorial for Kansas soldiers who died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Army Sgt. Jacob L. Butler, of Wellsville, the featured soldier on this sample memorial, was killed on April 1, 2003, while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. “It puts a face to the name,” Nicholson said of his design.

— A group is starting to get organized to raise funds to build a memorial to Kansans killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“In Vietnam, we waited 25 years” to start honoring veterans, said Harvey Nicholson, of Topeka, who is spearheading the effort. “These guys need to heal.”

Forty-seven Kansans have been killed in Iraq and 15 in Afghanistan, according to state officials.

Nicholson, who was instrumental in getting a war veterans memorial in his native Ottawa, said he hopes to locate the Iraq and Afghanistan memorial in either Gage Park in Topeka, or a park in Junction City.

“The whole idea is to help these vets. It’s their memorial. We need to stick together and work together,” he said.

Nicholson, 63, is a Vietnam War-era veteran who volunteers for Vietnam Veterans of America, which helps veterans obtain benefits.

The Kansas Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans Memorial committee will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library, Room 101C (Marvin Auditorium).

For more information, contact Nicholson at 785-550-4215 or at harveynicholson@yahoo.com.

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