SILOAM SPRINGS (KFSM) – Elizabeth Newlun remembers all too well the day she learned that her son, Technical Sgt. John W. Brown, and members of Seal Team Six were killed in action.
It was a Saturday morning in 2011.
“My son was a gentle giant,” said Elizabeth Newlun, the mother of the fallen member of the Air Force. “He was Rambo without the attitude.”
Newlun`s son`s helicopter had been shot down over a war zone.
She says she had a bad feeling when she woke up, and saw missed calls on her phone.
“I knew something was wrong at that moment,” Newlun said.
Technical Sgt. Brown is one of 36 known military members from Siloam Springs to have given the ultimate sacrifice in a war zone since World War I.
Now, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars want to memorialize those who have given their lives in war.
“We just feel as a city, and as a community, that it is important that we honor these people for their sacrifices,” said Frank Lee, a member of the VFW and American Legion.
Siloam Springs has planned to build a $60,000 monument at the intersection of Jefferson and Mount Olive.
“I think it is very important that we do not forget who gave their lives for his great nation,” Lee said. “That they were from this area and that they did give their life in combat”.
Families of those fallen say a memorial is a great way to keep their loved one`s spirit alive.
“Every single mother’s greatest fear in this situation is that their sons name will just become a name,” Newlun said.
Newlun says the city of Siloam Springs needs this monument because the city played such a large role in her son`s life.
“This is the city that helped me raise him,” Newlun said. “Just to have that memorialized, I think is very important.”