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Fundraising underway for Gold Star Family monument in Lawton

Apr 29 2021
Will Hutchison | KSWO

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - A group of people in Lawton want to build a monument honoring the lives and families of everyone who has died while serving our country.

Gold Star Families are anyone who has lost a loved one while they were serving in the military. Vicky Flores of Lawton is one of those people. She lost her son, Wilfred Flores Junior in 2007 and says she just wants others feeling the same hurt she is to have somewhere to go to remember those who were lost.

“I lost my son in Iraq in 07 and this is for me, for my son. The hurt never goes away but it’s the only thing I know to do to keep the memory alive. As I talk to other families, their main fear at this point is their loved ones will be forgotten. This will make it so they’re not forgotten,” Flores said.

Flores says this monument would help countless people.

“So many families feel lost and it helps them recover in my opinion and my hope. It will give them a place to reflect, to remember their loved ones and just know that we have not forgotten your loved one. That’s the main purpose for this,” Flores said.

There are 79 Gold Star Family monuments across the country, but not a single one is in Oklahoma.

“It would make me proud to know that our state has been able to allow this to happen. So many family members, so many friends of lost loved ones have nowhere to turn,” Flores said.

Flores and others are working with the City of Lawton to put the monument in Elmer Thomas Park. Right now, the biggest thing standing in their way is the funding to purchase the granite monument.

“It’s going to run around $75,000 but we’re not asking for a one-time donation from one particular person. If you can give $1, if you can give $2, it goes directly to the foundation for our particular wall in this area.”

The monument is built through the Woody Williams Foundation, a 501C3 nonprofit that builds monuments across the country. If you want to donate, this link takes you to the page that allows you to donate directly to the southwest Oklahoma project.