Pay it Forward: Veteran’s Memorial a special place in one man’s heart


MIDWEST CITY, Okla. — In this Pay it Forward segment is the story of a man who saw a need and filled it. In fact, what he helped build will be there for generations yet to come.

It will be a reminder of the debt we all owe to very special group of people.

Metal bars; concrete; stone work; all part of a structure meant for one purpose; to honor.

For all who have donned uniforms, no matter the conflict and for those yet to serve, this memorial was built and dedicated.

“This monument is not about the past alone, it’s about the past, present and future,” Hiawatha Bouldin says.

The memorial is his passion. He was asked to simply get one flag for the park. Instead, he volunteered to help build it.

Linda Bell says, “Because you ask Hiawatha for just say a little stem, he will give you a huge forest and that is him.”

Linda Bell nominated Hiawatha for his work with the Midwest City Veteran’s Memorial.

“It’s very hard to describe someone who has a heart as big as Texas. That’s him. That’s him,” Bell says.

Taylor Ortiz of Spirit Bank was on hand, “I’d like to present you with $400 so you can Pay It Forward.”

NewsChannel 4 and Spirit Bank surprised Hiawatha in a staff meeting at work.

“We have viewers who nominate folks who go over and above what you’d expect. So we can thank them for what they’ve done for their community,” Linda Cavanaugh explains.

Linda Bell says, “I nominated Hiawatha Bouldin.”

“Oh, no! For what? Over and above? What did I do?” Bouldin says.

“This is mainly for the Memorial that you did in Midwest City,” Bell says.

Phase one is complete. Now Hiawatha and friends are starting on phase two. Their goal is to make the Veterans Memorial in Joe B. Barnes Park a place of pride.

“Is this a passion for you?” Linda asks Hiawatha.

“Most definitely; I’ve talk to so many people. We’ve tried to do this for years. We’re not going to try to do this. We are going to do this,” Bouldin explains.

Hiawatha is quick to say it took a lot of folks to get the Veterans Memorial this far and will take just as many to complete it.