Project directors have personal stake in Vegas' Veterans Memorial

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- All week we've been showing plans for a brand new Veteran's Memorial in Las Vegas.

Tonight we meet the two local vets behind the project. They've been working on this for years and they promise it will be a special experience for all who visit.

Making this a reality has been a collaborative effort. The two project directors are local veterans themselves.

They own the American Shooters store on Spring Mountain and Arville and they've been working closely with city leaders and local veterans groups to see this come to fruition.

For them, the project is ambitious but it is also personal.

"But for the most part this is exactly what you're going to see when it's complete," said project director Mick Catron said.

These are exciting times for Scott Tiano and Catron. For years, the two local veterans have shared a dream.

"We're doing something on a different scale and different scope," Tiano said

Now that dream is finally starting to take shape.

"We wanted a memorial that was timeless. We didn't want this to be conflict or branch specific," said project director Mick Catron. "We wanted it to span the course of time and we wanted it to be expandable for the future to allow for future growth."

The Las Vegas Veterans Memorial, they say, will be similar to the types of memorials people see when they visit the nation's capital. There will be large granite walls with inspiring inscriptions to make up the back drop.

There will be 10 historical military figures from conflicts past that will form a half-moon shape along the rear perimeter and in the center will be two modern-day pieces, with eight additional figures cast in bronze.

Eventually, it will all come together at the children's park near Cashman Center which has been designated by the city as the future site of the Las Vegas Veterans Memorial.

The three-acre project will include a complete makeover and expansion of the existing park.

It will join an already growing area known as the "cultural corridor" in Las Vegas, which includes the Natural History Museum and the Neon Museum.

"I certainly believe that memorial will only add to that entrée of educational pieces for field trips and kids to go with parents and grandparents to learn about our history," Tiano said.

One thing the two both agreed on right away was the selection of the artist.

Douwe Blumberg was chosen from more than 200 other artists. It was a decision aided by the Las Vegas arts commission and public opinion.

"He was the one who really understood it and was able to translate that into the memorial that we see," Mick Catron said.

It will take Douwe approximately three years to complete the project from start to finish.

Each piece will be designed to leave a lasting impression.

"As you start at the revolutionary war and make it over to the post 9-11 or modern day fighter pilot, you'll notice that their uniforms are different, that the technology and the weapons change, but the one thing we like to believe that doesn't change with Veterans from one generation to the next.. is the reason that they're serving," Tiano said.

Many have made the claim that with the passing of time those who've served and died for our countryare eventually forgotten. Scott and mick are steadfast in their conviction to never let the happen.

"We know we can never repay the debt that we owe our veterans and the families of veterans, but this was an opportunity for us to really show our commitment to them for their honor and sacrifice to country," Tiano said.

In a city like Las Vegas where everything is bigger and flashier now there will also be something just as grand recognizing those who through their service helped make it all possible.