Plans are in motion to construct a memorial in Morgan County to honor veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Morgan County Iraq Afghanistan Memorial Group, founded in June, is showing rapid progress and has even drawn the support of Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard and State Senator Sam McCann.
Group member Tyson Manker says the Morgan County Iraq Memorial Group has already teamed with Amvets Post 100 in Jacksonville to start collecting donations. Manker expects to join forces with other veteran organizations in the area soon.
“We have a war memorial for all the prior engagements of this country in the modern-era, but nothing yet for Iraq and Afghanistan. Most war memorials come 10-15 or even more years. after a conflict is going on. Arguably the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are still going on. We just felt the time is right, especially with the loss of Tobin and Weikert, that we should memorialize the service of everyone now,” says Manker.
Jacksonville natives Andrew Tobin and Matthew Weikert died serving their country in Afghanistan.
Manker explains what lies ahead for the Morgan County Iraq Memorial Group.
“There is no plot of land selected yet, but we have talked with Mayor Ezard on some ideas. We have yet to nail that down. We will be working with some of the local monument companies, hopefully, to come up with a unique design to honor veterans of Morgan County who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those are things still to come. We are a couple of months in and this could take a couple years realistically, but we are in it for the long haul, just like our service.”
The group plans to open a registry online, where veterans can sign up for the memorial. Manker says each veteran deserves to be honored for their service and hopes the community supports the initiative.
Go online to mciam.org or the Morgan County Iraq Afghanistan Memorial Group Facebook and Twitter pages to find out more.