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By PAUL SIMS
Slicing winds kept late-morning air at near-freezing levels Monday but didnâ€™t turn away a crowd gathered to stand with Gold Star mothers as they laid a wreath locally to honor the fallen.
Those affiliated with a formal chapter of the American Gold Star Mothers â€“ whose sons or daughters gave their lives in service to the nation â€“ chose to participate in the Wreaths Across America effort by placing a wreath at the armed services display at Gulf States Manufacturers in Starkville.
â€śThey do so much for our military organizations,â€ť said Donna Bagwell of
Pontotoc, referring to Gulf States. Bagwell laid the wreath with Starkville Mayor Parker Wiseman and Aubrey Ray, a representative of Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve. Bagwellâ€™s son, Marine Lance Cpl. Marc Lucas Tucker, died June 8, 2005 in Iraq.
Danny Coggins, Gulf Statesâ€™ president, said â€śI was just absolutely thrilled they called and said that they wanted to come to our town.â€ť
Coggins added: â€śThis is an honor, especially when you understand what being a Gold Star mother means.â€ť
Gulf States has a conference room dedicated to Gold Star mothers and set aside for their use as needed.
â€śThey are pretty busy ladies, and one thing I really enjoy is the relationship weâ€™ve built over the last year and a half,â€ť Coggins said.
â€śWeâ€™ve become fairly close to this chapter,â€ť he said of the Forever Faithful chapter of AGSM.