Local veteran raises money to honor area heroes

Local veteran raises money to honor area heroes

Amarillo, TX - A local veteran is trying to raise thousands of dollars to honor his fellow veterans across the Panhandle.

Six months ago, veteran Jack Barnes started a venture to rename Loop 335 as "Veterans Highway." He has received approval from area state representatives, the City of Amarillo. Randall and Potter Counties and is awaiting final approval from TxDOT in Austin.

His main obstacle now is funding new signs along the entire loop.

As president of the American Fallen Warrior Memorial Foundation, Barnes is no stranger to honoring those who serve our country. He believes it's time Amarillo has a memorial to remind people daily of their bravery and sacrifice. "We do not have a highway in the Texas Panhandle, to the best of my knowledge, that is named in memory of or in honor of our military veterans," said Barnes.

There are twenty signs along Loop 335 that need to be replaced and a new sign costs about $5,300 to construct and install. "It would be nice to replace every sign with Loop 335 Veterans Highway, but that's a big dollar," said Barnes.

To properly rededicate the loop, there need to be at least eight new signs. The Randall County Commissioners Court is purchasing three signs and the City of Amarillo will purchase a fourth using grant money.

Barnes said he's relying on donations to cover the rest. It's a bill that adds up to about $21,000. "There are no tax dollars set aside for memorial highway signage," explained Barnes. "We are going to appeal to the general public to support this very important initiative because it's about their heroes, it's about their veterans, it's about their sons and daughters, their relatives and their fathers who served past, present and future.

Pending final approval in Austin, Barnes and our local TxDOT office hope to rededicate Loop 335 as Veterans Highway on Veteran's Day this November.

If you would like to donate to the Veterans Highway sign fund, contact Jack Barnes at 806-681-1418 or jrbarnes0407@gmail.com.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10