Gary Brattain and his wife went to a meeting of the Yorba Linda Veterans Memorial Association intending to purchase a memorial bench. Instead, they came away with the job to build the memorial.

Yorba Linda Veterans Memorial
Yorba Linda Veterans Memorial

Brattain, president of Brea-based Building Construction Specialties, Inc., was attending a fundraiser for the association in 2007 when someone asked if someone knew a good design-builder or contractor for the proposed memorial.

Brattain and his wife volunteered their time and services for the project. They had initially attended the association meeting simply to purchase a memorial bench; the Brattains’ son, Joel, was killed in March 2004 while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.

The Brattains volunteered their firm as the design/build team for the project and would oversee all aspects of project design, construction management and general contracting.

Building the memorial would not prove to be difficult; instead it was finding the funding and resources to build it.

Fortunately, the city of Yorba Linda was willing to donate a portion of land at a city sports park for the memorial site. Although the city could not waive permit and plan check fees for the memorial, the Brattains were able to find more than $100,000 in donations of time and materials to build the project.

The memorial is anchored by a large five-sided central monument made of concrete, granite and bronze topped with a large bronze eagle. The central monument sits in the center of a large decorative concrete circle with a black star that fills the circle. The multicolored decorative concrete circle includes design features such as inlaid stainless steel stars and stainless steel military service mottos such a Loyalty, Honor, Duty, Respect and Courage. A monument memorial wall adjoining the center monument was erected to display the city’s older veterans’ plaques to honor those fallen Yorba Linda veterans from World War II, Korean War and Vietnam.

When completed in May 2009, about 2,000 people attended the dedication of the memorial.

Because of the time and effort and care of those who contributed to the Yorba Linda Veterans Memorial, the Southern California judges of California Construction have elected to present the project a special Community Building Award to recognize its purpose in bringing the community together to remember America’s fallen soldiers.

Project Team

Owner: City of Yorba Linda & Yorba Linda Veterans Memorial Association
General Contractor: Building Construction Specialties, Inc., Brea
Civil Engineer: Anacal Engineering Co., Anaheim
Structural Engineer: Plump Engineering, Inc., Anaheim