U.S. Navy SEABEE monument dedication to honor veterans - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

U.S. Navy SEABEE monument dedication to honor veterans

(Source: US Navy/MGNOnline) (Source: US Navy/MGNOnline)

Local veteran Navy SEABEES hope when others see a new monument at the Bloomfield National Cemetery, they will recognize not just their work and sacrifice, but that of so many thousands of men and women in different branches of the military.

It will be officially dedicated Saturday in a public ceremony.

Three local veterans talked about their service as Navy SEABEES. Tom Meyer served in Vietnam. Mike Morgan served in Desert Storm. P.M. Kurre put in almost 40 years of service dating back to the Korean War.

"It makes us proud to see the service of so many recognized," said P.M. Kurre of Jackson. "We felt a calling to do our duty."

"They were and still are a group of hard workers and fighters with a history going back 72 years," said Tom Meyer. "They are still a very instrumental part of the services."

The SEABEE construction battalions are known for their priceless contributions dating back 70 years. To name a few projects: building Navy bases in World War II, basically cutting a mountain in half to make way for a runway in Korea, fending off enemy forces to build infrastructure in Vietnam, and so much more.

They are known for performance under fire. When asked to do an impossible job, their approach was always the same: "can do." It's something they still live by today and celebrate the service of every veteran.

"That motto means everything to a Seabee and still does," said Morgan. "There is nothing a Seabee or anyone can't do if they set their mind to it."

The men say they are proud to see the recognition all veterans are getting now as they return from wars and they want them to know their service is appreciated and there are so many other veterans out there who would love to connect with them.

Veterans and the public are invited to the official dedication this Saturday in Bloomfield at the Missouri State Veterans' Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.

They are working to put a monument like the one in Bloomfield in every veterans' cemetery in the nation. According to Meyer this will be the first in Missouri at a state veteran's cemetery. There is another at Jefferson Barracks, but it is a national site.

Learn more about SEABEE history (pdf).

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