Dedicated to establishing a Veterans Cemetery in Southern California to properly and eternally honor those who have proudly served our Nation.
MCAS El Toro was the departure point for thousands of American service men and women who did not return home alive. Being the last place they stood on the soil of the USA, this site represents a virtual Gettysburg in Orange County (now home to 130,000 Veterans). As such we quote President Lincoln, "It is all together fitting and proper that we do this."
For the Vietnamese community in Orange County, MCAS El Toro is their Ellis Island, where 50,000 war refugees first set foot in the USA in 1975.
Since the announced closing of MCAS El Toro in 1999, Veterans have passionately pursued the site for a memorial park to honor the heritage and legacy of the sacrifices represented here.
As the development of the Orange County Great Park stalled, a once and only opportunity to establish the long desired Veterans Memorial Park manifested which quickly received enthusiastic community support.
Our Top Accomplishments:
1. We secured a site and passed legislation through the State of California specifically dedicated for the purpose of a Veterans Cemetery.
2. Secured appropriation from the State of California of $500,000 for the initial feasibility study and design of the Veterans Cemetery .
3. The legislation and financial appropriations were approved unanimously at all governmental levels.
Our Upcoming Goals:
1. Pursue supplemental appropriation from the State of California for site preparation and operations and maintenance, estimated to be approximately $1,500,000.
2. Construction Grants from the Federal Department of Veteran Affairs which will be released in phases over a period of 100 years. The Veterans Administration grants typically provide 90% of the construction costs, thus the Foundation will be raising the private contribution required for the balance.
3. Ground breaking of the Southern California Veterans Cemetery; anticipated sometime in 2018.
4. Provide honors and support for the 200,000 or more future Veteran interments at the Southern California Veterans Cemetery.
Most Pressing Needs:
1. $1,500,000 in contributions for the purposes of supporting the establishment of a state-funded Veterans cemetery in Southern California to meet the interment needs of Veterans in the area, promoting the general welfare of Veterans, organizing and coordinating events for the funerals and memorial services, recruiting, training and equipping personnel to assist as color guard during funeral services, and holding fundraisers to raise funds in support of these endeavors. various charitable activities, including, without limitation.
2. Operation funds for website, social media, flyers and promotional events.
As a Marine Veteran who in 1967 departed MCAS El Toro for a tour in Viet Nam, I would like to invite and encourage all who desire to honor our Veterans, to support this very unique opportunity by way of contribution and involvement in the process.
Bill Cook, Sgt., USMC
Board Chair Statement
Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer
We will take checks by mail or in person and are looking for volunteers to help get the word out.