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Vets working to honor fallen soldiers from Vietnam

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It's a community of veterans that has worked to defend our country, and who continue to work to honor those who lost their lives during the Vietnam War.  

According to Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 668 president Dan Mendiola, the deteriorating War Memorial in Mangilao is meant to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War. "We had to fundraise quite a bit to get enough funding so that we can put the dreams that a lot of the members wanted to put here, and one of them is the Vietnam War casualties," he explained. The names of the 77 Chamorro soldiers who died during the war are inscribed on a worn and dingy tablet that Mendiola says will soon be replaced with a new granite slab.

He's also working to replace the three-soldier statue at the center of the memorial.

 "It's kind of very shaky and it's deteriorating," he detailed. "We had had some vandalism on the statue. Things are pretty much flaking off and in need of repair, but we can only do so much repair," he added.

Mendiola said his organization is fundraising to replace the statue with a fallen warrior memorial comprising of a weapon, helmet and dog tag. While it took the organization two years to create the memorial, Mendiola hopes the renovation will be completed by Memorial Day next year.

"If anyone would like to donate any amount or materials that we can use around here, for example we need some tiles to complete the set around here, any corporation, any company, any construction company, just give me a call. My number is 477-8406. Give me a call, let me know what you can offer, we sure appreciate it!" he said.

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