I am doing a project for our local VFW Post (Veterans of Foreign Wars) to honor our KIAs, MIAs and POWs from all overseas conflicts..
It will be a small memorial that will be on permanent display at our post but will also be able to be taken to special events around the community such as Independence Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, schools, etc.
The memorial will consist of a square 24" base, approximately 10-12" tall bearing the logos of the branches of the US Armed Forces. On top of the base will be a rifle (1903, M1, or M16) muzzle down with a helmet on it, and a pair of combat boots. The top of the base will be covered with dirt, sealed with polyurethane or some such material. On the sides will be illustrations of various campaign medals awarded over the past 100 years.
Here's a very crude illustration
The final version may be an M1, 1903 or M16/M4
Sign that will be placed on memorial
Click to enlarge
We would have liked the soil on the base to contain samples from Europe, the Pacific Theater, Korea, SE Asia, Panama, North Africa and the Middle East/SW Asia theater; basically, anywhere American servicemen have fallen in conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries....BUT
Bad News - Dept. of Ag rules prohibit dirt entering the country unless it has been properly sterilized. That consists of filling out their forms and arranging to have it treated at an approved facility when it enters the country etc.
Good News - But they say that sand and rocks containing no organic material are exempt from the sterilization procedure!
The following items are exempt:
Peat, cosmetic mud and other mud products from fresh water estuaries or the earth’s upper surface, if processed to a uniform consistency, and free of plant parts or seeds
Volcanic rock, pumice, geologic samples, drilling cores, or mud, if mined so it is free of organic material
Any sediment, mud, or rock from the oceans of the earth
So... due to the difficulty in obtaining the foreign soil I have decided that a sample from each state, in addition to what I might be able to get from overseas, would be appropriate for the memorial. If you are able to send a tiny sample from your home state it would be greatly appreciated. An ounce or less is perfect. Make sure it's wrapped well so it doesn't leak out and freak out the USPS folks. Also include a note inside saying it's a dirt sample.
Please e-mail me first to avoid duplications from the same state. See list below of what we still need.
I will see to it that anyone making a donation to this project receives a letter of thanks from our Post Commander.
Remember, just a tiny bit, like a teaspoon full, or a 35mm canister, will be fine.
And remember to include your alias/screen name!!
Bob De Groff
PO Box 102
Cahone, Colorado 81320