A group of Vietnam veterans are working on building a memorial at Camp Pendleton for 5th Marines who served in Vietnam.
The proposed Vietnam War Memorial Monument honors the 2,706 Marines, sailors, corpsmen and a chaplain killed in the Vietnam War serving with the 5th Marine Regiment. Their names will be etched in stone on six panels surrounding a 14-foot-tall black granite spire. The fallen hero spire rests on a pedestal that will detail the 5th Marines combat chronology.
The memorial is set to be installed in the memorial garden at Camp San Mateo on the northern end of the base, home of the "Fighting Fifth" Regiment, where there are other memorials, but not one for Vietnam veterans.
The veterans are launching a capital campaign this month to raise money to complete the estimated $400,000 project.
The memorial is to be constructed by Rock of Ages Corp., based in Graniteville, Vt., the company that built the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C.
"We saw memorials in the Camp San Mateo Memorial Garden for other wars, but not for Vietnam, so we started work on the project," said Steve Colwell, who is spearheading the effort to honor his fallen comrades.
The 5th Marines, known as the most highly decorated regiment in the Marine Corps, deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in March 1966. They fought for five years at Rung Sat, Chu Lai, Phu Loc, Hue, Que Son Valley, An…