BRYAN, Texas — Several Brazos Valley nonprofits are working to raise money for a veteran’s memorial at Bryan City Cemetery.
This land is called to become a historic resting place for the soldiers of the Brazos Valley.
Bryan City Cemetery started a veterans section less than two years ago. Already 38 veterans lie there together.
Jim Arthur Kimes will be gone a year next Monday, after serving in the US Navy as a corpsman for 28 years. When he was still alive and residing in Bryan, he came daily to the veterans section of Bryan City Cemetery and cleaned the graves of every veteran.
Now that his body rests next to theirs, his wife Jamie and daughter Nancy Diaz make their own daily visits to this quiet place.
“They were married for 58 years,” Diaz said.
“I miss him so much,” Jamie said. “And I loved him.”
According to Wreaths Across America, this is the only municipal cemetery in the area that has a section dedicated to all veterans, with VA-modeled headstones.
“I’m close to him and he’s close to me when I’m here,” Jamie said.
Jamie wears her husband’s wedding ring on pearls around her neck.
“She can come and visit him, and I think that’s helped her through the grieving process, to be here and to be able to talk to him,” Diaz said.
According to Ellen Fuller of WAA-Brazos Valley, the land has enough space for more than 800 veterans and their family members. Events honoring veterans may also take place at the cemetery, as Friday morning WAA helped organize an event to honor POW and MIA service members.
“It’s something the city has done as part of its parks and recreation,” Fuller said. “And we’re so lucky that the sexton of the cemetery is a Navy veteran, and the director of parks and recreation, David Schmitz, is a child veteran.”
WAA, Brazos Valley Cares, and other nonprofits are raising money to build a Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial Stone, along with section markers and a bench for visitors to sit on.
“Our goal is $50,000, and we’re about 34% there,” Fuller said. “We have completed five of the seven memorial medallions. We need more pews and more funds for the monument.
If you would like to donate to the cemetery, contact Brazos Valley Cares by calling (979) 361-7815, or email WAA at [email protected]