Since 1966 this cross has stood near the Ocotillo Wells airport in memory of Jim B. Robison, a 21-year-old San Diego County resident who died in Vietnam.

For years family members have gone back to pay tribute to their son and has become a landmark for other Ocotillo Wells residents and park goers as a place to pay their respects to all men and women who have fought for our country and now... it's being slated for removal all because of one complaint.

The program manager for the county's Land Use and Environmental Group said she received a complaint in January stating that the cross, a religious icon, was located on county property. Bell would not say who made the complaint.

Bell said in an email that the presence "of a monument of this nature on government land is an establishment of religion and in violation of federal and state constitutions,” and the county is taking steps to address the issue.

The cross was erected in honor of Jim Bruce Robison, an Ocotillo Wells resident who was killed in action in Vietnam at age 21 in 1966. His house, still owned by the family, is across the street from the cross. The cross also serves as a memorial for two other residents in the community, according to Sherri Kukla, editor of local off-road magazine. 

As of now there is no official date to remove the cross, but the county is trying to work with the community to relocate the cross or modify it so that there is no religious references.   One idea was to replace the cross with a flag pole and an American flag with a memorial plaque at the base that honors fallen military members.

To sign the Save the Ocotillo Memorial Cross petition, visit bit.ly/2r0yqsz

Bell said that questions may be directed to Airport Manager Marc Baskel at 619-956-4805 or Marc.Baskel@sdcounty.ca.gov.