Sep 4 2020
A new Gold Star Families Memorial Monument (GSFMM) honoring the families of servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives while serving in the military is currently being planned at Fort Campbell.
The effort is being led by Kelli Pendleton, Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) for Kentucky and Charlie Koon, a 2019 Champion of Fort Campbell, said a news release.
Pendleton said she learned of the memorial from a discussion with a fellow CASA who is a Gold Star wife.
“Although these beautiful memorials have been constructed in areas all across the country, there is not one near Fort Campbell and I felt that needed to be rectified," Pendleton said in the release. "It made sense that this be a regional effort so I reached out to Charlie because of all the work he had done at the Survivor Outreach Services office on post.”
Pendleton and Koon are working through the Woody Williams Foundation on this project. The Foundation’s assistant director of Programs, Cindy Stonebraker, who is from the local area, lost her father in Vietnam. She, along with local Gold Star wife Nancy Mullen are serving as advisors on the project.
Mullen became a widow in 2013 when her husband, WO1 Sean Mullen, 5th SFG(A), was killed in action in Afghanistan after more than 18 years of service and numerous deployments.
“This memorial recognizes the profound sacrifice all of our military surviving families and extended families have made, which should never and will never be forgotten” said Mullen. “Having this memorial located at Fort Campbell also helps to solidify the connection between these families and the military, and serves to educate its visitors as to the meaning of the term, “Gold Star.”
A website has been created to educate the public and potential donors about the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument and contributions can be made on the site at: http://hwwmohf.org/monuments/ft-campbell-ky.html.