CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Adam Crumpler was a senior at Riverside High School when terrorists struck Sept. 11, 2001.
"He came home from school that day and said, 'I know exactly what I'm going to do," said Emma Johnson, his mother. "He wanted to fight for his country."
Crumpler, of Campbells Creek, was killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. He was 19.
"If we don't tell their stories, once they're gone, they're gone forever," Johnson said. "Whenever I get a chance to talk about Adam, I take it. I'll always be proud of him."
She and her son are featured in "A Tradition of Service," a photo exhibit that's part of Glenville State College's West Virginia Veterans Legacy Project, unveiled Wednesday morning at Yeager Airport.
The project is a traveling photo and history exhibit that tells the stories of more than 200 of the state's veterans from World War II to the present.
World War II Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams, along with other involved veterans and officials, praised the 36-piece photo exhibit's debut in the baggage claim area of Yeager Airport.
"Something we should never forget is that we are here because others can't be," Williams said.
Williams said the project is special because it not only honors those who have served, but the "gold star families" left behind -- like Shelly White.
White's three sons served in the military. Her son, Robert, was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. Her youngest, Andrew, died from complications related to post traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, she said.
"They have passed away, but that doesn't mean their stories have to be gone with them," she said. "This exhibit is important to me because serving was important to them. The military was everything to my boys. I have to keep their memory alive."