Heroes Way

Monday, April 16, 2012

A good number of great causes have their roots in Cape Girardeau.

Count the Heroes Way project among them.

For the last several years, Ross Gartman has begun a campaign to memorialize Missouri soldiers who have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by having road signs erected in their honor along Missouri highways near the soldiers' hometowns.

Three area servicemen have been killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: U.S. Army Cpl. Jeremy Shank, National Guard Staff Sgt. Brad Skelton and U.S. Army Sgt. Robert Davis. Heroes Way paid for the signs for all three soldiers.

Recently, 150 people took up Gartman's cause and held the first March for Memories, a fundraiser walk at Cape County Park North.

"Our goal [for this event] is to raise enough money to cover the cost for a couple of signs," Gartman said. "If we do that, we'll be happy."

The event netted $5,300.

Two signs cost $2,200. For $220,000, every Missouri soldier who died in these wars can be recognized. Next year, Gartman said he wants to organize a statewide walk the last Saturday in March.

Heroes Way is a great idea, and a way for the community to support the families of those who lost a soldier. A special thanks goes out to Gartman, to those who participated in the recent walk and to those who have supported the organization in the past.

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