Call to expand Va. War Memorial gains steam

Posted at 6:57 PM, Feb 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-11 20:02:12-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- The Virginia War Memorial is a place for reflection and memory of those who lost their life in the service of country.

Over 250 names and faces of Virginians are commemorated in the section known as the Global War on Terror alone.

But not all Virginians who died in Iraq or Afghanistan are enshrined at the memorial. Some names are missing.

That is because to be included in the memorial, the serviceman or woman must have been killed in a combat situation.

"Everybody I have ever talked to has said how can this be so hard," Rick Schumann told  WTKR in 2011.

Schumann lost his son - Lance Corporal Darrell Schumann - in Iraq in 2005 when his son's helicopter crashed. Since it did not crash because of enemy fire, Lance Corporal Schumann's name is unable to be placed among the other fallen Virginians.

"This is obvious you recognize everybody who has served and sacrificed," Schumann said.

Schumann has been advocating for his son's name -- and 30 others --  on the wall for over five years. While he has had some success in the Senate, the House of Delegates has been different story.

However, there is reason to be optimistic this session. The Bill has passed the Senate and is making progress in the House.

"The house subcommittee passed it five to nothing it's the first time we've ever gotten out of subcommitee," St. Senator John Miller, a Democrat who is authoring the bill, said.

The House Committee on General Laws is expected to vote on the matter as a whole Tuesday morning.

Miller said he is tired of waiting for leaders of the War Memorial to act.

"The General Assembly is going to tell them what the policy is going to be and that policy says if you died in a combat zone you are properly honored by having your name on the wall," Miller said.

Officials at the Virginia War Memorial declined a request for an interview on this story, referring us to the Governor's Office.

Governor Bob McDonnell's office told CBS 6 he does not have a position on the subject.