By Lillian Bowe
PNT staff writer
Robert Cato earned Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals serving in the Vietnam war while in a field artillery unit in Vietnam. After his tour, Cato was transferred to Portales to start the ROTC program at Eastern New Mexico University in 1970.
Now his name is m
emorialized on a paver at the Roosevelt County War Memorial purchased by his daughter, Vivian Cato.
Cato said she purchased the paver to honor his service in the military and, “He lived in Portales for seven years and was integral part of Roosevelt County.”
“He loved God, country and family.”
For those in Roosevelt County who want to honor a loved one with a paver, the time would be now because the prices is set to jump on Jan. 15, from $100 to $125.
Karl Terry, Roosevelt County Chamber executive director, said the reason for the increase was due to the planning of the memorial, which was set in phases. The last phase will cause the cost of pavers to rise.
The first phase of the memorial was raising the money to build the site, which cost about $25,000. The second phase was the construction of the walkway with the pavers and the pavers were sold all together in two rounds, one on Memorial Day and on Veterans Day.
Now to be able to get a name engraved on the pavers, Terry would have to have someone dig up the paver, engrave it and then replace it on the walkway.
Terry said that it raises the cost of the pavers.
The idea of the memorial came from the Portales High School class of 1958, who kick-started the donations and formed a committee. The funds for the memorial were all from private donations and fundraising.
To purchase a paver call or go to the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce at 356-8541.