Navy SEAL Monument to Be Built on Virginia Beach Boardwalk


VIRGINIA BEACH -- Capt. Rick Woolard's office is filling up with sand, and he couldn't be happier.

There's sand from Hawaii, Vietnam, Normandy -- places where Navy SEALs have fought or trained.

The sand will form a "living beach" at the base of a new Navy SEAL "Naked Warrior" statue on the Boardwalk at 38th Street, said Woolard, a retired SEAL and Virginia Beach resident who is spearheading the project.

The City Council on Tuesday voted to allow the Florida-based UDT/SEAL Museum Association to build the monument, which honors the origins of the Navy SEALs in Virginia Beach dating back 75 years.

It will feature a life-size bronze statue of a WWII Navy combat swimmer standing on top of a horned scully, an enemy obstacle used to sink American landing craft. The memorial will include a stone wall with SEAL insignia and plaques.

Woolard expects construction to begin in about two weeks. He hopes it will be dedicated to the city on May 29, Memorial Day.

The project, which will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, will be paid for through donations. "We're still accepting donations," Woolard said.

The city will pay for a lighted, inclined walk next to the monument, not to exceed $18,000, and general upkeep of the site once it is dedicated. The SEAL museum will be responsible for any future repairs.

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