Jefferson City man wants to add to the Missouri Veterans Memorial

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JEFFERSON CITY - The idea came to him during brunch with his family when he saw a wounded veteran enter the restaurant. Dr. J.C. Standlee, a dentist in Jefferson City, talked with the veteran and learned he had served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Standlee said he realized the Missouri Veterans Memorial does not honor veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and decided to do something about it.

"We have a whole generation who have served and sacrificed for the state and country, I just thought it was an important thing to do," Standlee said.

He is working on adding a ninth granite marker to the memorial, which would honor service members killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Standlee said, once he received approval from the chair of the capitol commission Dana Miller, he began researching architects and engineers.

He visited the memorial and saw that Professional Contractors and Engineers Incorporated constructed the memorial in 1991. Dr. Standlee contacted PCE and worked with them to find the total cost for a design plan is $10,500.

Standlee is working with Missouri Senator Mike Kehoe on raising the money. Once they reach their goal, Standlee said the next step is sending the architects and engineers to the site to calculate the total cost for the addition of a granite marker to the memorial. Standlee said he hopes the money will be raised in the fall so they can break ground in Spring 2016.

"Our main goal is to get the whole thing done by November 11, 2016, which will be the 25th anniversary of the original memorial," Standlee said.

He said he and Kehoe have not encountered any public opposition yet and they plan to avoid any by keeping the memorial as close as possible to the way it is.

"When they originally did that work, there was so much thought and so much symbolism at the current memorial that we really want to carry that forward," Standlee said.