What the Monument Means to Me: Philip W. Gibbs

“The construction of the Howard County Veterans and Military Families Monument is not just a project but a symbol of our community’s support for those who have served our country. It honors the sacrifices of countless men and women and will be a visible reminder that freedom is not ‘free.’

“I am dedicating my support to my father, USMC Captain Haywood P. Gibbs, Sr., who served for 25 years. My story mirrors many others. While attending East Carolina University, I entered the Marine Corps Platoon leadership class, which prepared me to be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. My career took a detour after I suffered a broken neck in 1980. Upon recovering, I was offered an opportunity to work for my mentor, Ed Hamel.

“Today, many service members are struggling. It’s vital we acknowledge their sacrifices and provide them with something meaningful. This monument will be a special place for people to show their appreciation and support for our veterans and their families.”

Written by Philip W. Gibbs, Marine Corps Veteran and President of Hamel Builders

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