Article in the local San Luis Obispo newspaper  THE TRIBUNE:

 

New Hwy. 101 signs point motorists toward Atascadero Veterans Memorial

BY TONYA STRICKLAND
January 5, 2015 

 

Two signs directing motorists to the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial at Atascadero Lake Park were installed along Atascadero’s stretch of Highway 101 last week.  The green-and-white signs, installed  on Dec. 30 near the north- and southbound exits for Highway 41/Morro Road, were added to existing markers designating Highway 101 as the National Purple Heart Trail.


The signs began as a grassroots effort by local volunteers who have spent years lobbying the California Legislature to establish several patriotic projects in town.  Gaining state approval to install the signs has been a lengthy and involved process, local organizer Chuck Ward said, but remained a key move in organizers’ efforts to draw visitors to the war tribute at Morro and Portola roads.


“Hundreds of thousands of our travelers are retired veterans who get into their RVs every year and tour museums and battlegrounds,” Ward said. “Atascadero is very patriotic. We have things here that will cause people to pull off the highway and spend some time in this city.”


The Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial, which was unveiled in 2008, honors San Luis Obispo County veterans with a statue, dedication bricks and walls inscribed with the names of those who died serving their country.


The National Purple Heart Trail designation was implemented by then-Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, who in 2009 authored a measure that designated the trail along 115 miles of Highway 101 from southern Monterey County to northern Santa Barbara County.  Purple Heart signage was placed along the stretch, letting motorists know of the designation, and now the Faces of Freedom signs accompany those wayfinding markers.  Marine Corps League Detachment No. 680 raised the money for the signs, Ward said, which cost about $1,000 each.


More information on the Purple Heart Trail and the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial can be found at www.purpleheartca101.org and www.facesoffreedommemorial.org.


Elsewhere in Atascadero, the Your American Heritage Monument at Colony Square was installed in 2013 to celebrate the nation’s beginnings with a flagpole, four bronze plaques and educational programs for local students.

 



 

 

CONTINUING STEPS: DIRECTIONAL SIGNS

 

A number of attempts have been made over the past several years introducing various bills within the State Legislature to have Commemorative markers installed near the Purple Heart Trail signs.

 

This vision of directing travelers from Highway 101 to various veteran venues along the highway has been met with partial success.  State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian worked very hard to introduce and pass ACR 145 which limits the directional signage to the Faces of Freedom Memorial in Atascadero.  This resolution was passed on August 20,2014 and signs were installed December 30, 2014 by Statewide Safety & Sign (private funding was available).  Limiting the signage to one location was the key to passage.  Future attempts will be made to have markers installed for the Veterans Museum in San Luis Obispo and the Warbirds Museum in Paso Robles.  Click Here for the text of the Resolution.

 

 

PRIOR BACKGROUND:

 

 

California State Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee
 with Chuck Ward displaying an early scale replica of the sign.
 
 For the text of the legislation,

 
 Our thanks to Assemblyman Blakeslee and his staff for all of their efforts to make this  happen.

 

 

 

 

The Actual Sign:

 

Rob Hooper, Branch Manager and Melissa James (Field Rep for Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee) stand by the first "proof" sign made by Statewide Safety & Sign, Inc. in Nipomo.

 

A total of 10 signs have been placed on the highway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Melissa James at the Marine Corps League meeting April 13, 2010 posing with Chuck holding the PHT Brochure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        Letters to the Editor 5/6/2010

 

Purple Heart Trail

 

A three-year-long project designed to honor those wounded or killed in the service of this great nation has come to fruition with the completion of the signage being installed indicating that Highway 101 from San Ardo to Los Alamos is now officially part of the nationally recognized “Purple Heart Trail.”

 

Thanks to the efforts of a cross section of our community and support from as far away as New Jersey, the dream of saluting those who have paid the price for our freedoms has been realized.

 

It is hoped that these signs will serve as reminders that there are those who serve and pay for our freedoms. It is also hoped that when those who have paid the price and their families see the signs, they find solace that they are remembered.

The signs will finally serve as guideposts to the wonderful veteran memorials and museums throughout our county that serve to honor our veterans.

 

Tim Haley
Atascadero

 

 

press release 4/21/2010

Blakeslee Celebrates Groundbreaking for the
Central Coast Purple Heart Trail

Event Date:        Friday, April 23, 2010

 

Groundbreaking Dedication Ceremony for the Purple Heart Trail

 

9:30 a.m.         Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, local elected officials, and members of the veteran’s community will celebrate the dedication of the Purple Heart Trail with the installation of the first highway marker.

 

Location: Corner of Highway 41 and El Camino Real in Atascadero, in the dirt parking lot adjacent to Rabobank, overlooking the section of Highway 101 where the first Purple Heart Trail sign will be installed.

 

Background:

Blakeslee was first approached by local veteran and Purple Heart Recipient Tim Haley in 2008 requesting that Highway 101 be added into the National Purple Heart Trail.  Last year, Blakeslee authored ACR 12, a measure that designated a 115 mile portion of Highway 101 from the City of San Ardo to the City of Los Alamos as National Purple Heart Trail. The measure was unanimously passed by the Legislature.

 

There are 26,000 veterans just in San Luis Obispo County, many of whom actively supported Blakeslee’s legislative efforts to expand the Purple Heart Trail.  A total of 10 Purple Heart Trail signs will be installed throughout three counties marking Highway 101 as a part of the nationwide network.  The trail is intended to serve as a reminder of all men and women who have been wounded or killed in combat while serving in the United States armed forces

 

 
Sam speaking at the groundbreaking  

The sign which was installed
at the Highway 41 interchange, Southbound

 

 
Sam Blakeslee cutting the ribbon   Sign with some Purple Heart recipients

 

 
Chuck Ward addressing the crowd   Tim Haley being interviewed by KCOY

 

 

 

CENTRAL COAST NEWS: KCOY 12

 

The Purple Heart Trail on the Central Coast

Posted: Feb 22, 2010

 

ATASCADERO -

 

The wheels are in motion to transform a long stretch of Highway 101 into the "Purple Heart Trail".  It is a designation that honors the sacrifices made at war. Caltrans crews are preparing to install 10 signs on the side of the highway.  It is a 115-mile stretch from San Ardo, near Camp Roberts, down to Los Alamos and the turnoff for Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The Marine Corps League Detachment 680 is spear-heading the transformation.

 

Local veterans want to honor the men and women who were wounded in combat and those who never made it home.  "Many didn't return and many returned with broken bodies and shattered minds," said Chuck Ward, a member of the Marine Corps League. "It's a sad thing to think about, but it's something I think we all need to be reminded of."

 

They also hope to draw attention to the veterans museums and monuments on the Central Coast, including the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial in Atascadero.  "In our county we have a unique situation in that we have a tremendous amount of veterans memorials and museums that are fantastic venues honoring those that have served," said Tim Haley, a member of the Marine Corps League.

 

The national Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992 in Virginia.  The idea was to establish a symbolic trail throughout all 50 states.  Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee authored the necessary legislation that paved the way for the new segment on the Central Coast.

 

The Marine Corps League Detachment 680 has launched a fundraising campaign to raise money to pay for a series of signs that will soon go up along Highway 101.

 

There will be a total of 10 signs that designated a 115-mile stretch of the highway as the "Purple Heart Trail".

Donation mailing address:

 

Marine Corps League #680/ Purple Heart Trail Fund
P.O. Box 3233
Atascadero, CA 93423       

 


 

VETS VOICE  12/2/2009 January 2010 Issue. Journal/Plus  by Frank Rowan:

 

            When I began writing this column for January 2010 it occurred to me that this is my sixth year writing Vets Voice. It has made me many new friends who call me or write to me. Usually they make good remarks about the column.

 

                The Leading Knight of the Atascadero Elks Lodge sent me an E-mail about the Veterans Day program they had on November 11th with over 150 people for dinner. I was a speaker at the San Luis Obispo Elks Lodge 322 Veterans Day program where we had about 200 people for dinner. As Exalted Ruler of the Elks I got to introduce the past Camp San Luis Obispo Camp Commander Lt. Colonel Fisher as keynote speaker. The Elks made a solemn pledge after WWI, “As long as there are veterans the Elks will never forget them.” The Elks fulfilled that pledge by dedicating the month of November to all American Veterans.

 

                In 2008 Tim Haley a Viet Nam veteran and, Commander of the local Marine Corps League Detachment #680, asked Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee to sponsor Legislation to designate  Highway 101 through the Central Coast area a designated, “PURPLE HEART TRAIL”.

 

                The Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992 by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, a Congressionally Chartered Veteran Service organization to honor those who have been wounded or killed in combat. The trail originates in Mount Vernon, Virginia, outside the main gate of Washington's Mount Vernon Estate and travels across the United States to California crossing through more than 45 states.

 

                Recently Haley received an E-Mail from Michael Madriaga, Field Representative to Blakeslee, telling him that ACR 12 in connection with Haley’s request passed and Highway 101 will be part of the Purple Heart trail in California. Mike will be meeting with Cal Trans to make arrangements for placing the Official Purple Heart signs along the highway. These signs of course will cost money. Hence, I suspect the various veterans groups will be having fund. raising activities to defray their cost.

 

                Tim Haley is one of the most active veterans in the SLO area for veterans. He served in the Marine Corps. in Viet Nam. He received the Purple Heart for wounds received in action on April 4th 1968 while serving with the 1st Battalion 9th Marines known as " The Walking Dead" during the battle of  Khe Sanh."

 

                Tim is one of the Marines who have done several hundred military funeral services for local veterans. At a Post 66 meeting last week a legionnaire asked about “Cold War” certificates and how to get one. I thought everyone who was eligible had already gotten one because I get mine several years ago. The Cold War certificate are given to anyone who served in the United States military service from September 2,1945 to December 26, 1991. Essentially from WWII ending to completion of the Desert Storm recovery of Kuwait.

 

                There are several ways to apply for the certificate.

 

1. Call the Military Awards Branch 703-325-5864 and ask for the application

 

2. On the internet E-Mail< CWRS Team>

 

3. For computer geeks, Google “Cold War Certificate Program” and apply for an application.

 

                Number 3. is how I did it. With proper proof of your service during that time. They send you a nice looking certificate signed by the Secretary of Defense. It is suitable for framing and hanging on your trophy wall. If you don’t have a trophy wall this would be a good reason to start one.

 

                Ok I guess that’s about enough info for the start of a New Year. May 2010 be the best ever for us all and allow the bringing of our troops home to stay. Keep in touch via phone or E-mail

543-1973 or frowan248@att.net.

 

                See you right here in February to celebrate Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays.

 

 

Tim Haley 1968 @ Khe Sanh

 

Tim Today @SLO

 

Cold War certificate

 


 

 

APPROVED CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE BILL:
 

BILL NUMBER: ACR 12 CHAPTERED  08/24/09
 
  RESOLUTION CHAPTER  84
  FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  AUGUST 24, 2009
  ADOPTED IN SENATE  JULY 9, 2009
  ADOPTED IN ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 17, 2009
  AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 10, 2009
  AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  MARCH 25, 2009
 
 INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Blakeslee
    (Coauthor: Assembly Member Caballero)
 
                         JANUARY 20, 2009
 
    Relative to the National Purple Heart Trail.
 
  LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
 
    ACR 12, Blakeslee. National Purple Heart Trail.
    This measure would designate a specified portion of State Highway
 Route 101 from Monterey County to Santa Barbara County for inclusion
 in the National Purple Heart Trail. The measure would also request
 that the Department of Transportation determine the cost for
 appropriate signs showing this special designation and, upon
 receiving donations from nonstate sources covering that cost, erect
 those signs.
 
    WHEREAS, The National Purple Heart Trail was established in 1992
 for the purpose of commemorating and honoring men and women who have
 been wounded or killed in combat while serving in the United States
 Armed Forces; and
 
    WHEREAS, The National Purple Heart Trail courses its way across
 the vast majority of the United States; and
 
    WHEREAS, In 2001, pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 14, the
 Legislature designated portions of State Highway Routes 5 and 80 as
 California's selections for inclusion in the National Purple Heart
 Trail; and
 
    WHEREAS, The Legislature finds that it is appropriate to designate
 additional portions of the state highway system for inclusion in the
 National Purple Heart Trail in order to honor the men and women who
 have been wounded or killed in combat while serving in the United
 States Armed Forces; now, therefore, be it
 
    Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate
 thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby designates the
 portion of State Highway Route 101 from mile marker 9.67 in Monterey
 County to mile marker 36.16 in Santa Barbara County for inclusion in
 the National Purple Heart Trail; and be it further
 
    Resolved, That the Department of Transportation is requested to
 determine the cost of appropriate signs, consistent with the signing
 requirements for the state highway system, showing that special
 designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources
 covering that cost, to erect those signs; and be it further
 
    Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of
 this resolution to the Department of Transportation and to the author
 for appropriate distribution.

 

 

 

Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 145 – Relative to Highways
Adopted in Assembly June 23, 2014

Adopted in Senate      August 20, 2014

 

ACR 145, Achadjian. Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial highway signs.

 

This measure would request the Department of Transportation to determine the cost of appropriate directional signs, consistent with the signing requirements for the state highway system, on State Highway Route 101 at its intersection with westbound State Highway Route 41 in the City of Atascadero, to the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources covering the cost, to erect those signs.

 

WHEREAS, The Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial, located at 8038 Portola Road in the City of Atascadero, was dedicated on November 8, 2008; and

 

WHEREAS, The memorial consists of three elements, which are the Pathway to Freedom, the Faces of Freedom sculpture, and the Heroes Wall; and

 

WHEREAS, The memorial is the result of the efforts of the Atascadero Veterans Memorial Foundation, created in April 2006,with a goal of building a world class veterans memorial on the California central coast; and

 

WHEREAS, The foundation is comprised of two groups of veterans and community members, including retired, active duty, and reserve service members, military family members, local and national corporate sponsors, other members of the community, and sculptor Mark Greenway; and

 

WHEREAS, The memorial is intended to honor the nation’s service members by serving as a symbol of the public’s gratitude to those who, through their service and sacrifice, put their country first, and to teach youth about the nation’s core values; and


WHEREAS, It is appropriate for the Department of Transportation to post directional signs to the memorial from State Highway Route 101, commonly known as U.S. 101; now, therefore, be it

 

Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Department of Transportation is requested to determine the cost of appropriate directional signs, consistent with the signing requirements for the state highway system, on State Highway Route 101 at its intersection with westbound State Highway Route 41 (Morro Road exit) in the City of Atascadero, to the Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial and, upon receiving donations from non state sources sufficient to cover the cost, to erect those signs;

 

and be it further Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the Director of Transportation and to the author for appropriate distribution.