Morinville’s newest monument got a little bit of help from the provincial government.
The Rotary Club of Morinville received $125,000 from the province through the Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) to support the LAV III (Light Armoured Vehicle) Monument Program.
Run through Canada Company, the program recognizes the service and sacrifice of the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan by providing LAV IIIs to qualifying communities throughout Canada. Morinville is one of five Alberta communities to be selected.
The Rotary Club helped spearhead the project after being approached by a soldier who wanted to bring a LAV III to Morinville. The club’s co-president, Gordon Putnam, said they felt it was an important community project to get behind and see through to the finish line.
“The soldier that brought this forward initially, he’s very passionate, but he suffers from PTSD. We were able to jump in and help –and he’s been involved all the way through with the planning,” Putnam explained.
The monument will be constructed from pieces of retired LAV IIIs, declared surplus through the Department of National Defence’s recent LAV III upgrade program. Building the LAV III will be completed together by volunteers and students.
Around the monument area, the club plans to build a sitting area and include an educational component for people to learn about the vehicle and other facts about the Canadian Armed Forces.
In addition to the injection of funds, other organizations have chipped in, including a grant from Veterans Affairs, the Morinville Legion and various private donors.
Putnam described the project as a genuine community effort.
“It’s a total community regional project which is going to be available for all the regional citizens to enjoy and visitors. We’re just pleased that it’s going to be done this year,”
Construction will begin in late spring, with the monument unveiling set for Sept.10.