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Air Force veteran working to rectify local monument mistake

The veteran noticed her name was printed on it twice
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Posted at 7:09 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-16 19:27:47-05

MADISON COUNTY — A spelling error on a monument in Summitville will be corrected after a veteran noticed her name was printed on it twice.

"We came up here to see the monument to check and see if my name was on it yet and were surprised to see it with the misspelling,” Lisa Wilken, of Summitville, and an Air Force veteran said.

Wilken found that her name was listed not once, but twice on the monument. Both her married name and maiden name are listed on the marble. On top of that, her married name was spelled wrong.

Wilken served in the Air Force from 1994 to 1996. At the time, she was not married and went by the name Lisa Wright. It’s also the name she enlisted with and the only one that should be on the monument.

Now she is working to get the mistake resolved not only for herself but for future generations.

"It's important not only personally for me and my family, but it's important on a bigger picture because women proudly serve and unfortunately our service sometimes gets overlooked or we're invisible," Wilken said. We're mistaken as the spouse or the daughter. So having the names of women on our monuments and having them correct is important."

Dee Amos, the co-founder of the Main Street Organization, a group behind the monument, says it took a long time to get the monument to where it is today.

"It took us 10 years just to raise the funds for it. We did several poker runs, chili suppers, various events," Amos said.

Amos says she understands why it is so important the change is made.

"I do, I do, and I can respect that, but I just wish I would have had the correct information, to begin with,” she said.

Amos and Wilken agree there was confusion with how both names ended up on the monument. Amos says unfortunately, it’s not an easy fix. It may also come with a hefty price tag to get the change made.

"I'm going to try to see if I can get it filled in, if I can't get it filled in I'll have to replace that whole panel,” Amos said.

If so, it will cost thousands of dollars. Wilken is working to raise money on her own to fix the names.

"Unfortunately, in a small town like Summitville and towns across the country, there is not a lot of revenue around even in our nonprofits so what I did was reach into our veteran community,” Wilken said.

So far, has raised $1,000 but Amos says that won’t cover the cost of replacing the panel if that is necessary.

"When we put this panel in, just this panel, it was $3,850 and that was back in 2018 and granite has doubled in price since then,” Amos explained.

Supply chain issues will also have an impact. Amos says she was informed it could take up to two years for the piece of new granite to arrive. Wilken is hopeful it won’t come to that, but if it does, she plans to help raise the money to correct it.

"Monuments in small communities like this are important to recognize the service of the men and women that come from the local communities,” Wilken said.

Names are still being added to the monument. If you have a family member or loved one who served in the military and is from the Summitville area you can contact Amos to have their name added at 734-699-8900.

Money is also still being raised to help correct the current structure. You can find out more by clicking here.