Three Temple natives will represent the city at a ground breaking ceremony for the Texas Capitol Vietnam Monument beginning Sunday, March 24 in Austin.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel Sam Floca Jr., retired U.S. Army Captain Charlie Lewellen and former American Red Cross Donut Dolly Joyce Denke will participate in the ceremony which will begin at 8:30 AM Sunday. The ceremony will take place at the Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium in the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.

Over 100 volunteers will read the names of the 3,417 Texans who lost their lives in service to their country in Vietnam. Floca will be reading 25 of those names.

Later that day, 3,417 dog tags will be entombed in an ammo canister within the monument.

The monument was authorized in May 2005 thanks to the legislative actions of State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Representative Wayne Smith. According to the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument website, the monument will be built using private funds, with the Texas State Historical Commission providing a matching donation up to $500,000. The monument is scheduled to be dedicated by Fall of 2013.