"I want to leave the community better than I found it and this was an opportunity," says Sam Nettinga. He is a project facilitator for the Idaho Gold Star Families Memorial Monument that's being built in the Northgate development area in Pocatello.

Nettinga says, "What intrigued me the most is there are no monuments like this in the state of Idaho."

The new monument will be one of more than 50 across 41 different states. The completed monument will honor and remember fallen military men and women and their families.

Nettinga says, "That was a real driving force to see if we couldn't accomplish something that nobody else had tried in the state."

Being first in the state requires a lot of help. The memorial sits on nearly one acre of donated land, which needs some work before the monument can be built.

Field Supervisor Ron Bowman says, "We had to build it up roughly 15 feet to get it up to subgrade."

Those involved in this unique project say the work is equally unique because of who it's for.

Bowman says, "It's not just one or two individuals, you're helping the whole community."

Nettinga says the community is making this project a reality through donations "whether it's concrete, asphalt, moving dirt, whatever it is."

When completed the memorial will be "a significant gathering place the way it's been put together," according to Nettinga.

As people gather around the finished project, Nettinga and those involved in making it happen hope it brings a sense of peace to all those who have lost a loved one in military service.

The monument is expected to be completed and open to the public this summer.


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