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Donations needed for Kentucky National Guard memorial

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - There's a glass case inside the Kentucky National Guard base in Frankfort, honoring their 18 soldiers and airmen killed in action since 9/11.

"if you do pay the ultimate cost of freedom for this nation when asked, that we will not forget you. You will be remembered," said Colonel Charles Jones of the Kentucky National Guard.

But, for all the Guard members killed in action since its beginning in 1912, there's no specific memorial. Col. Jones hopes to change that. He's been working closely with volunteers to make the Kentucky National Guard Memorial a reality. So far, organizers have raised about half of the 1.3 million dollars needed.

"The 18 soldiers that have stepped up and have paid that price, in some way, I've known them all. Five of them served under my command," said Col. Jones.

But for Col. Jones, it gets even more personal than that. His son, also named Charles Jones was killed in action in Iraq in 2006.

"It's part of the healing process to see that we're paying our ultimate respect for these young men and women who have answered the call and paid for it with their life," said Col. Jones.

The Kentucky National Guard's Adjutant General, Edward Tonini hopes people across the state will help make this memorial a reality.

"Somehow, in their time, they've been touched by the National Guard, whether it's responding to floods or tornadoes or ice storms, or whatever it might be, we think we touch all of Kentucky," Gen. Tonini said.

National Guard officials have been going through their records to find out exactly how many names will go on that memorial. To find out more about the memorial and to donate, visit www.guardmemorial.com.

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