Legionnaires honor Afghanistan veterans with monument
Members of the Minetto American Legion Post 486 left to right, Joe Wallace, Donald Phillips, Dan Andring and John Mantaro. Photo by Savannah Norton with Oswego County News Now

Legionnaires honor Afghanistan veterans with monument

Veterans Memorial Park in Minetto, N.Y., has a monument dedicated to veterans who served in World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm. On Memorial Day, a monument dedicated to those who served in Afghanistan will be unveiled thanks to the efforts of the local American Legion Post 486.

The monument features the Afghanistan Campaign Medal and inscribed are the words, “Afghanistan Campaign, 2001-2021, Dedicated to those who served.”

“We felt Afghanistan veterans should have their own monument also,” said Post 486 Commander Donald Phillips. “We had soldiers that were wounded and killed over there, and they should be represented with their own personal stone.”

The idea for the monument came about at a Post 486 meeting. A monument honored American veterans from other conflicts in the park but not Afghanistan, so the Legionnaires felt called to “show respect to all the soldiers form the Afghanistan War,” Phillips said.  

Post members designed the monument, had it locally made and paid the cost of over $3,000.

“It’s a duty of veterans to let everyone know that we gave up our time and a lot of us gave up our lives. For veterans who have returned from Afghanistan, something should be said to honor and recognize their service,” said Post 486 Adjutant John Mantaro to Oswego County News Now.