Mar 16 2021
Brittany Grego | WTOV9
BEALLSVILLE, Ohio — The village of Beallsville is coming together to remember area veterans and their families.
But it needs your help.
The Beallsville American Legion and area families are raising money for the Monroe County Gold Star Families Memorial.
"My brother, Richard Lee Rucker, was killed on Memorial Day 1968, the day I graduated from high school,” Donna Rucker Otto said.
Rucker Oto will never forget that day - or the heroism her brother displayed.
The appreciation for all soldiers who died in combat is felt in the town.
"I knew Donna's brother, Richard, very well,” said Richard Kuhn, with the Veterans Commission of Monroe County and a Vietnam vet. “We were neighbors growing up.”
Kuhn and John Weber would like to see a Gold Star Families Memorial next to the Beallsville American Legion. The idea came from Monroe County Commissioner Mick Schumacher.
"I've always felt that we needed to do something special for this community,” he said.
So, he contacted post commander and veteran David Wiles and a committee was formed.
The plan is to construct a $70,000 memorial to honor those who sacrificed a loved one for freedom.
"We have to remember them just as well as we do as the soldiers,” Wiles said. “It's just a great thing."
And Beallsville seemed like the perfect place to do so.
"Beallsville has the distinction of being the highest per capita loss of any community in the United States during the Vietnam War,’ Schumacher said. “They lost six young men, a couple of them weren't even 21 yet."
The memorial will recognize soldiers and families of all wars.
A third of the total cost has been raised. Donations are being accepted.
"I think it is a good thing that we're doing these things to remember those people,” Vietnam vet John Weber said. “They have given their lives for our country. God Bless."
If you would like to donate, you can contact Wiles at (571) 494-7877. You can also mail a donation to 12123 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, Ky. 40243 with checks made out to HWWMOHF (memo: Monroe County project).