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Memorial for fallen Fla. Iraq vets unveiled

12:49 PM, Dec 15, 2013   |    comments
Army veteran Russell Cook, 31, touches the names of soldiers on the new Iraq Veterans Memorial on Saturday in Tampa. WILL VRAGOVIC | Tampa Bay Times
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A memorial for the nearly 200 fallen Iraq war veterans from Florida is now on display near Tampa.

Veteran Mark Goujon lost three members of his Air Force team in 2007 when an improvised explosive device detonated. He spent two years raising money for the memorial, which was unveiled Saturday.

The Tampa Bay Times reports some of their mothers of the 190 fallen Florida veterans read their names aloud during the ceremony.

Two concrete pillars for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn mark the entrance to a 12-foot concrete stoop topped with a bronze statue of a rifle emerging from a pair of boots with a helmet on top. The soldiers' names are etched into dog tag symbols.

Hillsborough County contributed $100,000 to the monument and private donors raised $51,000.

Associated Press

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