Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans Memorial Project, Inc.

Our Country's Premier Manned Veterans Park

Our Mission Is Healing & Education

A Place For All Of Us

Persian Gulf Tribute News

For the Veteran’s of ALL Persian Gulf Conflicts and families of the Fallen:  On Saturday, April 19th The Persian Gulf Tribute Committee will be meeting for their monthly meeting @ 10:00 a.m. in the Timberframe gift shop in the upstairs.  All are welcome to attend.   At 12 noon, Persian Gulf Tribute Committee members will be available down by “The Wisconsin Persian Gulf Tribute” with an informational table set-up for any questions you may have on “The Wisconsin Persian Gulf Tribute” along with the model of the tribute (weather permitting).  You will also be given the opportunity to sign “The Wisconsin Persian Gulf Tribute” before the Honor Stones are put in place during April 23-26 work week.  If you are interested in donating towards the Tribute, purchasing an Honor Stone to be placed at a later date, or join the committee, you may do so at this time.    There will be a Legacy Stone Placement and ceremony @ 1:00 p.m.  on the plaza.   A Persian Gulf Tribute committee member will be available before, during and for a short time after the ceremony for questions and for Persian Gulf Veteran’s and families of the Fallen to sign their Soldiers name on  ” The Bootprint Tribute”.  If you are unable to make it on April 19th to sign “The Wisconsin Persian Gulf Tribute”, please feel free to stop in when the snow is melted or removed and ask in the Timberframe Gift shop to sign the Tribute and someone will help you in the matter.   We would be honored to have as many Persian Gulf Veteran’s and families of the Fallen sign their Soldiers name/s. 

 Just as the impression of the bootprint symbolically recalls the impression all Persian Gulf Sevicemen and Women have had on the world, so will your names be forever written on “The Wisconsin Persian Gulf Tribute” and we will know they are written by many Veteran's who have willing served to protect our Freedom and the Freedom of so many others.                                                                                                                    

We Thank ALL of YOU for YOUR SERVICE and SACRIFICES!!!!     


                                 We hope to see and visit with you on Saturday, April 19th



On Nov. 8th, 2013 the State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections visited The Highground for Veteran's Day Observance with an attendance of over 400.  The featured speakers were Ed Wall the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, Brigadier General Mark E. Anderson, and Sandy Hautamaki Deputy Warden and she is also a "Gold Star Mother".  Sandy's son Ryan J. Cantafio was killed on November 25, 2004 in Iraq while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.   After the program, all Veteran's of the Persian Gulf were asked to sign The Bootprint Tribute.  As you can see in the picture that the Veteran's were honored to write their names on the tribute and we are honored they did so and Thankful for their Service.  Even though the names will be covered at a later date with Honor Stones, we will know they are written by many Veteran's who have willing served to protect our Freedom and the Freedom of so many others.   We Thank you ALL for YOUR SERVICE!!!!





Newsletter article Winter 2012


The morning fog gave way to bright sunshine at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Persian Gulf Tribute. For those of you that were there, THANK YOU for coming. It was a gorgeous Saturday morning and the weather couldn’t have been better. Just as the fog lifted so did many of the spirits of those present. The event offered healing and connection for many.

This tribute is for everyone that served in the military since the mid 1980’s. New drawings by Michael Martino were displayed so those present could see what the actual statues might look like.

THANK YOU to everyone who was kind enough to make donations! Every donation helps no matter how large or how small. A few of our larger donations came from: Hardee’s, Bank Mutual, Land O’Frost, Braun family, and Kaufman family.

The Highground is accepting donations at: W7031 Ridge Rd, PO Box 457, Neillsville, WI 54456. Please make checks payable to The Highground and include the Persian Gulf Tribute in the memo. Your donations can be used towards specific items within the tribute, including: benches ($3000); Jersey Barriers ($4000); Bollards ($1000); Texas Barrier lights ($4500); Honor Stones ($550); plus other opportunities (please call for complete list).

More people are needed to join us in bringing the Persian Gulf Tribute to fruition.  Now that the groundbreaking is behind us, we are focused on the fundraising to complete the project. If you would like to join us or would like updates on the project please contact Brandon Hensiak at brandon.hensiak@us.army.mil or 715-937-4355.






Persian Gulf Committee Summer Newsletter article dated: Fall 2012


Boots on the Ground

Someone that supports the Bootprint design appreciates what those that have served have done for them and their  freedom. The Persian Gulf Tribute Committee is dedicated to raising the $700,000 plus to make the Bootprint design a reality at The Highground. It is hard work, but the committee members are willing to get the job done. Existing members of the committee are current and retired military personnel, friends and family members of the fallen, and supporters of the military. The fundraising committee is now looking for those individuals and organizations willing to bring the Tribute to fruition. Items to sponsor   include: benches ($3000);  Jersey Barriers ($4000);    Bollards ($1000); Texas Barrier lights ($4500); Honor Stones ($550); plus other   opportunities (please call for complete list).

The Persian Gulf Tribute is for everyone that has served our country in the Middle East. The Middle East has been traditionally defined as the Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia, Levant, and Egypt) and neighboring areas of Arabia, Anatolia and Iran. It currently encompasses the area from Egypt, Turkey, and Cyprus in the west to Iran and the Persian Gulf in the east.

The Persian Gulf Tribute committee is always looking for additional committee members. If you are or know someone that has served in the military since the mid 1980’s they are welcome to join the committee. We also need individuals with contacts to potential donors. Please contact The Highground if you are interested in being a committee member.



Thank you David Krause for working on the bollards to the Persian Gulf Memorial. Lighting the pathway to the tribute will ensure safe passage for visitors. Tribute construction should begin this summer (2012) as funds are coming in to support the endeavor. Volunteers and Contributors are the Heart of The Highground.




Don Boon began building road to Persian Gulf Tribute site on Friday, November 4, 2011




Design pictures of the Persian Gulf Tribute coming to The Highground






Persian Gulf Committee Summer Newsletter article dated: May 2011

T  H  E       B  O  O  T  P  R  I  N  T

A Persian Gulf Tribute 

The request to participate in a design competition that would pay tribute to those Americans serving in the Persian Gulf conflicts, was received in the office of Blue Design Group in the summer of 2008. This request from The Highground included; a description, design parameters and a mission statement for the Persian Gulf Tribute. This mission statement read: “To build with honor a tribute for all branches of America’s Military who served around the world beginning with Desert Storm, through multiple Middle East conflicts, while marching forward in the Global War on Terrorism. May we establish a place of hope so that we do not walk past you but with you. Let this site be an anchor for education and solace while securing in memory sacrifices made. With hope and prayer the Persian Gulf Tribute will provide a safe haven for all to reflect and to heal.” After reviewing the materials and mission statement, some time passed before a design concept was arrived at.  Eventually, the concept that was chosen for the Persian Gulf Tribute was one that seemed to relate to the design parameters and mission statement on many different levels. The concept was that of a ‘bootprint’.To the design team, the bootprint symbolically recalled the impression that the young men and women involved in the conflict have had in our world. The bootprint seemed to be an appropriate metaphor to the mission statement’s goals of marching forward in the Global War on Terrorism. It also exemplified the notion of not walking past you, but with you, while establishing a place of hope. The bootprint recalls the many impressions left in the sand of the desert, similar to the conditions of the Middle East conflicts. The bootprint design allows for perennial flower beds to be located in the deepest impressions left by the boot. Symbolically, these deepest impressions allow for the seeds of hope, the seeds of life, the seeds of healing. The division of the bootprint into two pieces relates to the sorrow felt by the loss of those involved in the conflicts. Additionally, the two-piece bootprint allows for this tribute to straddle existing or proposed trails and act as a gateway or ‘anchor’ for a section of the trail system or future tributes.  The completed design allows for the bootprint to be viewed from the highest elevation at The Highground. This was an important part of the design because it allows the visitor to view the tribute, much like one would view a bootprint in the sands of the Middle East.Working with the Persian Gulf Committee, the design team of Blue Design Group incorporated items used in the Persian Gulf conflicts including; Jersey and Texas barricades. These items were used to create the treads of the bootprint. These items and the following;  honor stones, statue bases and reflection benches,  are all intended to be constructed of sand colored granite material.

The partners of Blue Design Group, a small architectural firm located in Hortonville, Wisconsin were honored to be selected to complete this tribute. The firm’s principles, Steve Jamroz and Steve Romatz, have friends and family that have been and are currently involved in the Persian Gulf conflicts. Their efforts in the design of this tribute are dedicated to the military service of friends, family, and all of those who have sacrificed so much to provide us with the freedom that our Country is founded upon.

Description: IMG_3425-revised.JPG

Blue Design Group design team members; Steve Jamroz and Steve Romatz with model of


Persian Gulf Committee Entry dated:  April 18, 2011

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions, it's hard to not get lost in the details. The Bootprint Design in coming into form.Our next meeting for the Persian Gulf Tribute Committee will be at 10:30 am, May 14 at the Blue Design Group offices in Hortonville, WI. On that day we plan to tour Stone Creature Creations to see if using granite or bronze statues are a better fit for the tribute. The committee is wondering if in granite the emotions of those serving will be felt.

The committee plans to present the design to the board at their next meeting on May 21. And then host an open house to invite the media and the public to The Highground to view the design, and start fundraising for the tribute.


Persian Gulf Committee Entry dated:  March 13, 2011

The Persian Gulf Tribute Committee is excited to announce their selection of The Bootprint design, submitted by the Blue Design Group, of Hortonville as the next veteran’s tribute to be placed at The Highground.

There were several amazing artist submissions. And we would like to thank everyone for submitting their creative, well thought out work, and for being patient with us during the extensive and exhaustive process. It was a very difficult decision for the judging panel and the committee to make.

Many of the works were representative of the efforts of those serving in these military events. The details of the Bootprint, however, are the best representation of the veteran’s experience and the impact felt by each of our military personnel. The Bootprint will also fit well with the other tributes on the grounds. Please look at the initial drawing of the design on The Highgrounds website, www.thehighground.org.

Many of the veterans who looked at the submissions we received commented on the concept of The Bootprint. They each identified with the days on the ground serving. Every day of their service was marked by what they did and where they had been. They all gave up their freedoms during those days to protect our freedoms here at home.

The next steps in the tribute process are finalizing the actual concept of the tribute and continuing our fundraising efforts. We look forward to working more closely with The Highground staff, especially Kirk Rodman and hitting the road to raise the funds needed to make this tribute a reality.


Persian Gulf Committee Spring Newsletter article dated:  February 2011

   The Persian Gulf Committee recommended to The Highground Board of Directors during its January meeting their choice for the Persian Gulf Tribute. “The Bootprint” submission was chosen by a panel of judges and accepted by the committee. The Board accepted this choice as a conceptual design. In accepting the design, the Board asked for information from the          committee and the design group, which would include cost information, latitude in design options, costs of integral parts of the submission, recommended contractors that have worked with the design group and a rough time table for completion. The  committee is meeting March 12, 2011 to discuss these items and will report back to the Board  at the May Board meeting.

   We would like to ask all Desert Shield, Desert Storm, OIF, OEF, and GWOT veterans to consider becoming a member of the Persian Gulf Tribute committee. If you are interested in what we are doing or would like to contribute your thoughts or time, please feel free to e-mail me at  david.barth@us.army.mil I will take the time to explain our goals, agenda, and help you to become a member of our great committee.

Thank you,  David R. Barth, Chairman Persian Gulf Tribute



Persian Gulf Committee Entry dated:  February 13, 2011

Chairman Dave Barth met with The Highground Board of Directors on January 29th and made the recommendation, on behalf of our committee, to them for the Bootprint design. The Board of Directors has accepted the conceptual design as offered with final design pending further board approval.  I have spoken with the Blue Design Group, who submitted the winning design and they are excited to work with our committee on incorporating any ideas and wishes which we may want to include in the final design.