CAPE CORAL, Fla - A first of its kind monument for war veterans is starting to take shape in Cape Coral. Wednesday, crews broke ground on a monument for veterans of the Iraq War.
"Our soldiers are the best that are out there. They deserve this. I've seen a lot of soldiers fall by the wayside in Iraq so this monument is very important to keep their memories alive as well as all the other servicemen who serve the country and get the job done," said Army Veteran Jeff Rousey.
With gold shovels, flags and prayer, Cape Coral welcomed the Iraq War Monument at a special groundbreaking ceremony.
"Their names are going to go on dog tags on the side of the star so well be able to continuously update our star as we get the names in," said Alan Classon.
The monument will be the first of its kind in the nation and the first to honor all military branches
14-year old student Xavier Panero designed the star.
"I never would have thought that this would happen. Driving by this and seeing something I made. Wow," said Panero.
So far, project organizers have collected about 70 names, but say they still have a long way to go.
"We tried to get with the Department of Defense on giving us an actual list but they were hesitant due to concerns of privacy," said Classon.
Wink News Photojournalist and Iraq veteran Alex Cook is one of the names already on the list.
"I was at Cape Corals Red, White and Boom on the Forth of July. I was being patriotic by wearing my old unit shirt from when I was in the army so they spotted me at that booth and called me over," said Cook, "It's exciting to know that my name will be on a stone forever."
Organizers say they hope to complete the Iraq monument by November 10th.
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