Tonya Kramer of the Albany Veterans Association is working hard to get ready for three key events being held jointly this summer.

In July, Albany's Timber-Linn Memorial Park will host the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, a replica of the Vietnam Memorial wall in Washington, D.C.

Also coming to town will be the Vietnam Veterans of America's Field of Honor: 1,000 U.S. flags in a walkway maze, with each flagpole having room for 100 plaques, each bearing the name of a veteran.

Both exhibits will be on display July 14-19. During that time, the VVA will also conduct an Oregon Service Medal Presentation.

Kramer heads up the Albany veterans' Memorial Wall Committee, which has so far raised $14,000 in cash and in-kind donations and needs about $12,000 more.

In-kind donations are services rather than monetary donations, and multiple businesses are helping in this way.

The replica wall, which by itself costs just under $10,000 to bring in, has to be paid for by the time it comes to Albany.

While the wall is in town, National Guardsmen and veterans will watch over it 24 hours a day.

The wall is 370 feet long and has 58,253 names on it. People can view it for free.

"It is amazing to see the Vietnam veterans interacting with other veterans," Kramer said. "There is a healing that goes on."

Anyone interested in honoring a veteran of Vietnam or any other type of military service by purchasing a Field of Honor plaque can do so by calling John Newman at (503) 622-6084. The cost is $50 per name.

During the Oregon Service Medal Presentation, veterans and families of veterans will be honored for their service. The presentation is scheduled for 4 p.m. July 18.

One of the presenters will be Jim Willis, Oregon director of Veterans Affairs. Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa will also speak.

The wall will be in town the same time as the Linn County Fair is going on, and Konopa believes the fair will enhance the military events and vice-versa.

For more information about the events, to volunteer or to donate, contact Kramer at (541) 926-0027.

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