Bill Hammerlund and his wife Janet watched as the bricks at the Campbell Veterans Memorial were prepped and engraved not too long ago.
The two, who live nearby on the other side of the Pruneyard Towers, walk over on occasion to take a look at the progress taking place at the memorial.
Hammerlund first heard about the project when it was written about in a local publication, then again at his VA group on Dell Avenue.
"We loved the idea," he says. "We thought it was very important."
The two purchased a brick in honor of Bill's father, Vincent Hammerlund. The 95-year-old World War II veteran is currently living in a Gulf Coast Armed Retirement community in Mississippi. The senior Hammerlund began his military career in 1936 and was part of the first group of Americans to be shipped off to England.
"He was put on a ship and ended up in North Africa," Hammerlund says.
From here, Vincent moved again to Sicily when it was invaded.
"That is his short story and we are very proud of him," Hammerlund says of his father.
After serving overseas, Vincent Hammerlund joined the Navy reserves and put in another 20 years of service.
As for Bill Hammerlund, it was right around that time that he joined the Aviation Navy and specialized in radar.
"I was on three different carriers during the Vietnam conflict," he says.
The creation and construction of the Campbell Veterans Memorial makes the two Hammerlunds smile as they spoke about it.
Bill Hammerlund says that things have changed since he first got out of the service.
"California was very anti-military," he says. "Now, it's more accepted."
Janet Hammerlund agrees.
"He wears his military hat around and people say thank you now," she says. "In the past, it was spit upon."