Chapter 996 Project Initiative: Construct a half-scale replica panels of the Vietnam Memorial Wall that will be donated to the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services. The Memorial Wall panels will be constructed from donations received from veterans, National Veterans Organizations, public at large and communities throughout New Mexico.
Project Background: New Mexico Department of Veterans Services and the Vietnam Veterans of America Northern New Mexico Chapter 996, Santa Fe, New Mexico have partnered to build a half-scale replica panels of the Vietnam Memorial Wall to be located at Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Angel Fire New Mexico. The Chapter 996’s goals is to raise $300,000 to construct numerous panels that will display more than 58,000 who were killed during the Vietnam War. Once constructed, the half scale replica panels of the Vietnam Memorial Wall will be donated to the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services who will install and maintain. On 17 July 2019 the signing of the MOA between NM-DVS and VVA-NNM Chapter 996 has changed Chapter 996's monetary goal to $150,000.00 as NM-DVS will be sharing the costs.
Project Questions and Answers:
1. Why build this wall in Angel Fire, New Mexico when there are so many replica walls traveling the country and in parks across the nation?
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Angel Fire, NM was the first Vietnam War Era Memorial in the Country. Annually, over 50,000 veterans, their families and the general public visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial which consists of a beautiful Chapel, Museum and Library. Recently, the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services has broken ground on a new State Veterans Cemetery, which will be down the slope from the Memorial. Adding a half scale replica panels of the Vietnam War Era Memorial Wall to this historical place would ensure that the service and sacrifices made by veterans and their families will be properly and continuously honored and memorialized.
2. How did this Initiative to raise the money to construct a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall begin?
Mr. Ken Dettelbach, a member of VVA Chapter 996, working in Marketing for the New Mexico Military Museum, contacted us and asked of the possibilities of getting a Vietnam Memorial Wall for the NM Military Museum. He met and discussed this with Mr. Arturo Canales, who was instrumental in bringing "The Wall That Heals" (TWTH) to Santa Fe, NM on March 19-24, 2014.
Through further research, we were informed that the TWTH was to be sold, and a newer and updated traveling Wall would be constructed. Furthermore, we were informed that we could submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) if we wanted to purchase the old TWTH. We were informed by VVMF that we were one of the two whose RFP's were being considered. However, we had offered $5,000.00 down and requested a couple of years to pay off the remainder of the $80,000.00. VVMF informed us that we needed to come up with the entire $80,000.00 up front. At this time, we decided that we could not come up with that total amount required and decided to thank VVMF for their consideration.
After further discussion within Chapter 996, a recommendation was made and approved on October 2018 that VVA Chapter 996 would proceed on an initiative to raise funds to construct a Vietnam Memorial Wall, which would be placed at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Angel Fire, New Mexico. VVA Chapter 996 then contacted Mr. Tom Wagner, past Director of New Mexico State Veterans Cemeteries and discussed our proposal. Through further discussions, Mr. Wagner agreed that DVS would partner with VVA Chapter 996 on the project. With Mr. Wagner’s retirement, we met with Mr. Ed Mendez, the present Director of New Mexico State Veterans Cemeteries who agreed to continue the partnership. Since then, we have continued our fund-raising efforts towards the construction of a Vietnam Memorial Wall
3. What has been done to date?
To date, we have received $30,000.00 in donations.