Paula Stinnett

Paula Stinnett

The city of Fort Oglethorpe's new Veteran's Council will hold its next meeting on Dec. 12, as it furthers its effort to create a memorial park within the city.

In October City Councilwoman Paula Stinnett spearheaded an effort to create the Veteran's Council as a way of recognizing the area's rich military history and the service provided by many community veterans.

After holding its first meeting Oct. 16, the newly formed committee is moving forward with its plan to dedicate a new memorial park in the area of Cleburn and Shelby streets.

"We're wanting to plant weeping willow trees to soak up some of the swampiness, and have granite markers placed at the foot of each tree signifying the wars," Stinnett said. "We want to eventually have a flag pole there too. It will probably take three to four years to complete this project."

At the next scheduled meeting on Dec. 12, the group expects to discuss fundraising plans, a regular meeting schedule, suggestions for the naming of the park, and estimates for the planned stepping stones and tree identification markers.

"This will cost the citizens of Fort Oglethorpe zero dollars," Stinnett said. "All the funds are being raised by the veteran's council and through donations. The park cleanup will consist of committee members' help maintaining it. The park will honor veterans of all wars. It doesn't not pertain to any specific veteran organization. ... If it were church, we'd call it non-denominational."

Stinnett said that anyone can participate and help with the effort if they have such an interest.

"Everyone is invited and welcome to be members of this organization," she said. "All you have to do is love veterans and respect them for what they stand for. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. You don’t have to be a veteran to be a member, just be someone who loves our country and honors those who serve. Bring a friend, or five, and prepare for fellowship with veterans and supporters."

The Dec. 12 meeting will be held at Fort Oglethorpe City Hall at 6 p.m.

Anyone seeking additional information about the Council or the project can email Stinnett at pstinnett@fortogov.com.

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.