CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) - Families of fallen servicemen, veterans and government officials gathered at Camp Shelby Wednesday to break ground for a new monument to honor Gold Star families.
Gold Star families are those who have lost a loved one in military service to the nation.
The monument is being encouraged by the Hershel "Woody" Williams Medal of Honor Foundation and will be the first in Mississippi.
The organization hopes to locate several other similar monuments across the state.
The cost of the monument is about $50,000. A fundraising campaign is currently underway. About half of the funds needed have been raised so far.
"We're just getting started," said Leonard Scardino, whose son Anthony, a special forces 2nd Lieutentant, was killed during training at Fort Gordon in 2014. "We're getting letters out, news media and everything to help us to get the money raised."
"I think it's important that it's at Camp Shelby, where there's lots of traffic, a lot of soldiers have trained here," said Jenny Smith, of Brandon.
Her son, Jason Rogers, a staff sergeant in the U.S. Marines, was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. "There are a lot of young people that come here right through the museum and they can experience this and learn what the Gold Star is."
If you'd like to make a donation or learn more about the monument, click here.