A Reminder of Sacrifice

One Missouri Post donated $10,000 to a city-organized POW/MIA memorial

VFW Post 8220 in Belton, Mo., donated $10,000 last October to assist its city parks and recreation department with the completion of a POW/MIA memorial.

Post Commander Richard Moon, who served from December 1967 to December 1968 in Vietnam as an infantryman with the 4th Infantry Division, said a groundbreaking is expected this spring.

VFW Post 8220 Commander Richard Moon (right) presents Belton (Mo.) Park Director Shane DeWald with a $10,000 check for the creation of a POW/MIA memorial in the city’s park. Moon said the memorial will serve to remind the community of the sacrifices made by uniformed Americans.
“We wanted to donate [funds] because we felt it was a fitting tribute to [former] prisoners of war and all of the service members [still listed as] missing in action, and it was definitely something that will enhance the park itself,” Moon said.

The city’s parks and recreation department initially approached the Post about sponsoring a picnic shelter in September, according to Moon.

“While it would have been a good community relations project, and it would have given us publicity, it really didn’t have anything to do with veterans,” Moon said.

About a week later, city officials suggested a POW/MIA memorial, which Moon said was more in line with VFW’s goals and honoring veterans. Such memorials, according to Moon, are reminders of the sacrifices made by former POWs, those still unaccounted for and their families.

“I think a lot of people in their daily lives never really think about it,” Moon said, “and because there’s so much foot traffic there in the park, this will be a reminder to [visitors] of the sacrifices our service members have gone through over the years.”

Kevin Feeback, maintenance supervisor for Belton Parks and Recreation, said that since the monument is being built in a memorial park, city officials “thought it would be fitting” to give the Post a chance to be involved. The memorial is estimated to cost $17,000.

Though there will be a plaque at the memorial noting the Post’s donation, Moon said the publicity is secondary to the message the memorial will send to the community.


This article is featured in the 2018 June/July issue of VFW magazine, and was written by Kari Williams, associate editor, VFW magazine. Photo courtesy of Richard Moon.