Scott Stump had the idea for a Persian Gulf War memorial years ago. But it wasn’t until the 25th anniversary of the 1991 cease-fire arrived – and the Pentagon chose not to hold a single official event marking the day – that he truly realized how important it was.

Their war, it seemed, was at risk of being forgotten.

“This was one of the pivotal events in the nation’s history. While the war ended very quickly, we cannot forget the nearly 400 servicemen who did not come home,” Stump, president and founder of the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association, told “We owe it to their families and to all of those who fought to remember.”

Stump’s group recently obtained congressional approval for the project, and is now working to make that idea – a memorial nestled in the heart of Washington near the iconic memorials for Vietnam, World War II and other wars – a reality.

Designers and planners still have a long road ahead, and the process could take years. The group estimates they need to raise between $25 million and $40 million before the memorial can be built. The funds are being raised entirely from private sources.

Stump, a Marine infantryman who deployed to the Gulf on Dec. 31, 1990, understands that the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan dominate the national consciousness.

Those wars lasted far longer and involved significantly more casualties, and in a sense still have not ended. But Stump and fellow veterans of Desert Shield and Desert Storm worry about their contribution fading into a historical footnote – and they see this memorial as a way to preserve that in the solemn stretch of enduring monuments across the nation’s capital.

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