ORCUTT, Calif. -- A Veteran from Orcutt is still trying to build a military memorial on the corner of Highway 135 and Clark Avenue.
Steve Lebard has been trying for more than a year but says he's been facing road blocks from CalTrans.
The proposed site for the monument is on CalTrans property and Lebard says CalTrans asked him to black out some words on the memorial.
CalTrans says an email asking Lebard to black out the words 'United States' on his proposed memorial were "taken out of context".
The monument will be located near the on-ramp to Vandenberg Air force Base.
Lebard has been trying to build it for more than a year but CalTrans says not so fast.
"The CalTrans right of way should not become a center of free speech," says CalTrans Spokesperson Jim Shivers. "We have a very careful protocol as to where stop signs, traffic signals, cross walks, speed limit signs, other highway safety signs to allow for a proliferation of messages amidst those traffic safety signs, in our minds, would cause concern."
The planned monument includes five black pillars about eight feet tall and will feature a symbol of each branch of the military.
"And CalTrans took (them) and removed 'United States' and 'Army' and the motto 'E Pluribus Unum' from every one of the seals," says Lebard.
But CalTrans says that's not true.
"We have not made any final determination on the language or mottos or logos," says Shivers.
"All of this remains under consideration and no final decisions have been made."
But Lebard says no matter what, he'll keep fighting.
"This idea that we have to remove 'United States' and the motto 'E Pluribus Unum' from the seals, which basically is a deal breaker, nobody is going to want to build this project and maybe that's what they know. Maybe they think we'll just go away," says Lebard. "I'm not going away."
CalTrans says Lebard's application is still under review and they are working with him and the county to get the project through.
Lebard is meeting with Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian about amending the law to allow anyone to be able to put up an American flag on a gateway monument or on CalTrans property.
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