WASHINGTON (WTWO/WAWV)– Groundbreaking for a Gulf War memorial took place in Washington D.C. today, but two of the men who led the project have connections to the Wabash Valley.

Scott Stump, the President and CEO of the National Desert Storm Memorial Association, graduated from Indiana State University. He said he was finishing up his final classes when he was deployed for the Gulf War.

Stump said the effort started 12 years ago, and the organization had to go through a 24-step process to get the memorial approved.

He’s worked with Terre Haute native Kent Shively throughout the process. Stump said his history with Shively goes back to the war.

“Kent was my squad leader at the time, so I was part of his team. I was working for him at that point and now he’s working for me, so it’s a little bit of a flip-flop thirty years later,” he said.

Shively said getting to the groundbreaking was an achievement for the entire group, and the most important part is the story of the Gulf War being told to future generations.

“I’m just tickled to death to know that that legacy and that story will continue to be told to future generations of Americans and this story will be told as long as we have a Washington D.C.”

Stump said the reserve unit he served in now resides in Terre Haute, and has a strong connection to the memorial.

“There is a strong connection to that unit and this effort,” Stump said.

The memorial is projected to be finished by Veteran’s Day 2024.