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Veterans' memorial opens Monday in Lewisville
Sgt. Joshua Lee Franks served three combat tours in Iraq from 2003-2006 and on Sept. 7; he died from injuries sustained during his tours.
Franks was a member of the United States Marine Corps and an Argyle resident. He joined the Marine Corps in November 2002. He was 28 when he died, and he left behind a young widow.
"Sgt. Franks survived three roadside bombs while in Iraq. He came home and started having strokes and was diagnosed with a brain tumor," said Monty Slough, a Vietnam veteran and creator of the Denton County Fallen Soldier Memorial. "On Sept. 7 at 4:45 a.m. this marine died."
The Denton County Fallen Soldier Memorial will be on public display from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays Monday through Oct. 17 at Lewisville City Hall, 151 W. Church St. The memorial, which was designed and built by Slough, is a tribute to local soldiers who have been killed in action during military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and one who was killed during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. That list includes three former Lewisville residents: Army Private First Class Ryan M. McCauley, Army Major Matthew W. Worrell, and Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon T. Lara; Highland Village former resident Pvt. Aaron M. Hudson and Flower Mound former resident Marine Lance Cpl. Jacob R. Lugo.
The memorial is made up of plaques for each fallen soldier with a picture of the family's choice, the soldier's name, age, where they were from, the unit they served with and how they died.
"People want to know who these heroes are. The families want people to know that their soldiers sacrificed their lives," Slough said. "I choose to honor these young men, they're my brothers, and they deserve to be remembered. I feel that if one person comes up to that memorial then it's worth it."
Slough built the memorial in 2007.
"It began as one wall, but now it's three wooden walls," Slough said. "We've lost a lot of people in Denton County."
Slough was also instrumental in naming a park after a fallen Denton County solider. The Spc. Ernest W. Dallas Jr. Veterans Memorial Park in Denton is located at 6100 Sun Ray Drive opened on Veterans' Day 2011. There is a flag that is lit up every night and is never taken down. The park also features a walk of honor. The memorial has been on display at the park in the past.
"This is about this young man [Franks] and his family. This will be to honor Franks and his family," Slough said. "Someone has to tell these boy's stories, and I'll keep doing it until I die."
For information visit www.dentoncountyfallensoldiers.com.
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