LINCOLN COUNTY, Tenn. -- The Warrior Project in Fayetteville aims to pay tribute to the men and women of Lincoln County who have served in our military. The walls of the exhibit are lined with almost 1,000 pictures of Lincoln County veterans.
"When you're a part of a community, you're a part of a family. We needed to look at what our family has done on that bigger stage," said Pat Bennett, one of the coordinators of the project.
The exhibit ranges from the Revolutionary War all the way up to the present day conflicts. Bennett said it's the community's personal way of thanking their very own.
"One of the really important reactions that you get is when they see a father, an uncle, a grandfather, and they realize hey this is my family. I think that brings it home even more," he explained.
Bennett and Linda Williams started the project together. For them, it's personal. Bennett is a veteran himself, and Williams has loved ones on the wall.
"My brother's picture is back there in the KIA section," she said, along with two great uncles who were killed in the civil war. Her brother, U.S Marine Corps Corporal R.D Williams Jr., died in Vietnam.
Williams said the men and women on the walls deserve to be honored, but she also wants the exhibit to educate those who visit.
"I taught school most of my life. It's important that we teach our young people about what sacrifices have been made for them to have what they have today, and to live like they live today," she explained.
Williams said it's not what people expect when they see it for the first time, it's more.
"It just means a lot to walk around and look at all these pictures of all the people who have served, to know that they were willing to give their all for their country and their county. It really is a moving tribute to them, and we're really proud of it," she said.
The Warrior Project is still taking photo submissions for the exhibit. If you have lived in Lincoln County for even just a day, you are eligible. To do so, you can visit the Fayetteville Recreation center.
There they have information on how to submit a picture, along with envelopes for the photos. The pictures have to be a 5x7, but it does not have to be in uniform. There is a locked drop box at the center you can leave your pictures in. There is also a $25 framing fee.
The recreation center is open 7 days a week, and there is no charge to visit the exhibit. However, The Warrior Project is in talks with the City of Fayetteville for the city to buy a building by the town square to house the exhibit.
They encourage the community and anyone else interested, to stop by.