OGDENSBURG — City natives Chris Burrows and Brandon Mitchell are on a mission to make sure that anyone who served in the Persian Gulf War and the Global War on Terror are recognized on monuments at Groulx Park, the city’s veterans park on Ford Street Extension.
Burrows, who served in the U.S. Air Force and Army National Guard, said that he got involved after hearing from the wife of a former co-worker who said her husband’s name had the wrong initial on the Persian Gulf War monument.
He then began looking into what it would take to get it changed and it was a challenge.
Then, after he met Mitchell, a U.S. Navy veteran, while helping clean up the monuments this past spring at Groulx Park and later at the veterans plot at Ogdensburgh Cemetery, he learned of several more corrections.
“The changes need to be made, it’s the least we can do to make sure their names are correct on the monuments,” said Burrows.
Currently, there are three mistakes on the Persian Gulf War monument, with two additions that they know about, according to Burrows.
Mitchell said that he has been in contact with VFW Post 2936 and they working on a list of possible additions to both monuments.
There is currently only one name on the Global War on Terror monument – the late Nicholas J. “Nic” Sovie with the U.S. Marines.
“He needs to have company on there. There’s many more that deserve to be on there,” said Mitchell.
Burrows and Mitchell say that they have received permission from the City of Ogdensburg, which will also pay for the work, to move forward with the changes.
“The City of Ogdensburg is honored and committed to working closely with the Ogdensburg Veteran’s of Foreign Wars to ensure the memory of our fallen warriors is well preserved and respected. The monument at Groulx Park stands in tribute to those individuals that sacrificed their lives in defense of the United States of America during the Persian Gulf War and the Global War on Terrorism,” said City Manager Stephen Jellie, “With the most recent efforts of the VFW, the city will provide funding to update the monument correcting errors in names and updating the monument to include all Ogdensburg residents that served honorably.”
Frary’s Funeral Home, Ogdensburg, will perform the work.
Mitchell said it will cost $100 for each correction and $150 to add a whole name to the monument.
The veterans say they are looking to the public to help them add names or fix any more existing errors on the markers.
A DD214 form, received when you leave the service, is necessary in order to be added to the monuments. It is also only for Ogdensburg natives.
“We will be looking at the DD214s because they have to have pins and awards to meet the criteria,” Mitchell said.
The following is a complete list of names on the Persian Gulf War monument: Donald B. Cooke Jr., Andrew J. Barr, John R. Clark, Frederick R. Bush, James A. Williams, Marc Montana, James A. Marchand, Richard J. McDonald, William C. Farrand IV, Reginald McDonald, Lee T. Mayne, Patrick Bleau, Sean D. Barber, Tanya Bell, Wayne F. Bishop, Darrin A. Earl, Mark A. Hawes, Timothy Lago, Ronald Mitchell, Dean Rivet, Roy C. Bjork, Michael J. Newtown, William D. Jenne, Mark T. Valley, Patrick Ashley, Timothy A. Ferguson, Michael Matthie, Michael H. Bouchard, John C. Fitzgerald, Keith Lochte, Timothy Lovely, Richard C. Morley Jr., Michael J. Massic, Donald A. Pratt, Robert Perry, Frances L. Touron, Travis S. Whalen, James P. Winthrop, John Porter, Brian Pierce, Thomas Seeley, Murray Graveline, Todd Cooke, Cherl Ladouceur Brining, Ralph Binion III, Todd R. Harris, Dave Pearson, Richard Wells, Kevin Smithers, David LaLonde, David L. LaFave, Thomas A. Wilson, Garth T. Ryan, Scott J. Groulx, Brian Gordon, Thomas Caloren, Darren P. Gamache, Christopher Preston, Gordon L. Richards Jr., Spencer A. Love, Larry F. Lattimer and Emily Hooper Brashaw.