Showing posts with label fallen soldiers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fallen soldiers. Show all posts

Monday, July 31, 2017

101st Remember Fallen Soldiers While The Rest of the Country Forgets

Close-knit military community feels pain of deaths in wars the nation has forgotten

Published: July 30, 2017
The procession crossed the base that straddles the Kentucky-Tennessee border, past training grounds where members of the 101st Airborne Division prepare for war, past buildings where they reunite with loved ones when they return and past the headquarters where a long corridor bears the names of the thousands of “Screaming Eagle” soldiers who didn’t make it home. In wars that most have forgotten about, troops are still dying from hostile fire.
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — Rain came in a deluge on the Friday of Sgt. William Bays’ funeral.
A 101st Airborne Division soldier prays at the memorial service for Sgt. William Bays, who was killed in action in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan on June 10, 2017. MICHAEL S. DARNELL/STARS AND STRIPES
“He was a friend, a peer, a husband,” Sgt. Lucas Schultze, a fellow soldier of the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, cried as he spoke of the more senior comrade who taught him to lead. “A father, a son and a brother.”
read more here

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fort Carson MOH Says Medal Opportunity to Talk of Lives Lost

Fort Carson Medal of Honor recipient: Medal belongs to those who died
The Gazette
By: Tom Roeder
Updated: October 23, 2015

Capt. Florent "Flo" Groberg says the Medal of Honor that President Barack Obama will hang around his neck Nov. 12 will never truly be his own.
Capt. Florent Groberg watches the Change of Command ceremony for the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at the Fort Carson Special Events Center. (The Gazette, Christian Murdock)
The retired Fort Carson officer says the medal is really for the four men who died Aug. 8, 2012, after Groberg tackled a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

The Army says Groberg's actions, which left him with severe wounds to his legs, saved the lives of other soldiers and set an example of valor and gallantry that will be honored through history. Groberg, in a telephone interview from the Pentagon, says he was just doing his job for Fort Carson's 4th Brigade Combat Team.

"I don't feel really comfortable with it," he said of America's highest decoration for combat valor. "But it gives me a chance to talk about the four guys that were lost and their families."
Those four are Air Force Maj. Walter D. Gray, 38, of Conyers, Ga.; Army Maj. Thomas E. Kennedy, 35, of West Point, N.Y.; Army Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin J. Griffin, 45, of Laramie, Wyo. and State Department worker Ragaei Abdelfattah, 43, of Annapolis, Md.
read more here

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Police Search for Missing Donated Funds to Fix Memorial Stone

Police seek information regarding donations for damaged memorial 
Circleville Herald
By Sarah Gillespie Staff Reporter
September 17, 2015
The vandal of the site appeared to have carved away at Army Spc. Jenkins’ face and stole flags and an Afghanistan bronze marker.
By Nancy Radcliff/Photographer The Circleville Police Department is investigating the alleged disappearance of funds raised to repair damage to the memorial of the late Army Spc. Gerald R. (Bub) Jenkins. The monument was vandalized in April.
The monument of the late Army Spc. Gerald R. (Bub) Jenkins was vandalized in Forest Cemetery April 25. While the monument has since been covered by a black cloth in a special ceremony held by the 1st Iron Horse Buckeye Battalion, some are questioning the whereabouts of funds that were raised to repair the damage.

Jenkins’ father, Roger Jenkins, requested those interested in donating money to help the family with monument repairs to send a check or money order to a Tarlton P.O. Box or by contacting him directly on his personal cell phone.

“A few people reported they heard [Jenkins] spent money on things other than the monument,” said Acting Circleville Police Chief Shawn Baer.

Baer explained after receiving these complaints, Circleville detectives soon launched an investigation. Jenkins’ ex-wife, Carla McNamara, who is also Spc. Jenkins’ mother, said she received a voicemail from Jenkins stating he could not face her.

“I’m hurt, I’m mad,” said McNamara. “He won’t face me. What possessed him to do something like that?”
read more here

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Brevard Turns Out For Sgt. 1st Class Ruiz's Last Ride Home

Brevard turns out for return of fallen soldier
Chris Bonanno
June 4, 2015

The remains of Sgt. 1st Class Pablo A. Ruiz returned home to his family Thursday morning. 

Ruiz died while serving in Afghanistan. Video by Craig Bailey, Chris Bonanno and Malcolm Denemark. Posted June 4, 2015.
read more here

From Space Coast Daily

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Veteran Reminds Others No "Happy" Memorial Day

I’m a veteran and I hate ‘Happy Memorial Day.’ Here’s why.
Washington Post
By Jennie Haskamp
May 22, 2015
I’m frustrated by people all over the country who view the day as anything but a day to remember our WAR DEAD. I hate hearing “Happy Memorial Day.”

I have friends buried in a small corner of a rolling green field just down the road from the Pentagon. They’re permanently assigned to Section 60. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it’s 14 acres in the southeast corner of Arlington National Cemetery that serves as a burial ground for many military personnel killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are fresh graves there.

I spent my formative years in combat boots and all of my friends are in the military, were in the military, or married into the military. I have several friends buried at Arlington, and know of dozens more men and women interred in that hallowed ground.

Section 60 is a place I visit often.

I toyed with the idea of making the trip south from New York City this weekend to spend some time, reflect and sit quietly but decided against it. Some friend, huh?
Nearly 150 years ago, Memorial Day— first called Decoration Day— was set aside to decorate the graves of the men who’d recently died in battle. America was still reeling from the Civil War when Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a proclamation in 1868, according to a PBS account of his decision. “The 30th of May,” he declared, “would be an occasion to honor those who died in the conflict.”

Wednesday night, sitting in a pizza joint in the Bronx, watching the world go by, I was upset and couldn’t put my finger on why.

A friend said “Hey! Do you want to go to Fleet Week? It’s this weekend here in the city.”

What? No? Absolutely not. I don’t want to be in the midst of tens of thousands of people clamoring for a chance to look at a static display of Marine Corps and Navy equipment. I don’t want to see Marines and sailors dressed up, paraded around for community relations and recruiting purposes. I don’t want to watch any parades.

As I said it (barked it, really), my friend’s eyes widened and I recognized the frustration in my tone. I didn’t know why I was upset, at first. I paused, and while I was sitting there contemplating my outburst, I heard a commercial on the radio screaming through the tinny speakers.
“Beaches, beats and BBQs!” it said. “We’re your Memorial Day station with everything you need to kick off the summer in style!”
read more here
Wounded Times Shadow Salute

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Afghanistan Veteran Thwarts Theft for Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund

Veteran foils suspected theft attempt by Mount Clemens man accused of taking from Fallen Heroes Memorial display
The Macomb Daily
By Carol Hopkins
POSTED: 01/09/15
Tom’s Coney Island in Waterford staff and friends were happy Waterford Police were able to recover veterans memorial money taken Jan. 2. From left to right, waitress Maria Mason, fund director Skip Bushart, Tom’s owner Liz Sinishas and veteran Brandon Vickery. Carol Hopkins--For The Macomb Daily
A suspicious active-duty veteran is being credited for helping police track down men accused of taking cash intended for an Oakland County veterans memorial. Brandon Vickery, 28, of Waterford –– a staff sergeant with the U.S. Army National Guard –– was sitting at the Tom’s Coney Island lunch counter in Waterford the late afternoon Jan. 2 when two men came into the restaurant.

Near the cash register is a display with candy bars and an envelope for anyone who wants to donate to the Oakland County Fallen Heroes Military Memorial run by Skip Bushart of Waterford.
When the men got their food and left, Vickery –– who recently returned from his second tour in Afghanistan –– told the staff to check the candy bars since he’d seen the men near the display. “We looked and the money was gone,” said Sinishas, who has owned the restaurant nine years. The envelope had $7 inside, she said. read more here

Monday, December 8, 2014

Florida: Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe Actions Worthy of Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor campaign continues for sergeant who saved troops in Iraq
Los Angeles Times
By David Zucchino
Published: December 7, 2014

Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe
LOS ANGELES (Tribune News Service) — If he had known in 2005 what he knows today, Brig. Gen. Gary Brito would have nominated Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe for the Medal of Honor.

Brito knew in 2005 that Cashe, his uniform soaked with fuel, had plunged into a burning vehicle in Iraq on Oct. 17, 2005, to rescue soldiers who were on fire. But only months later did Brito, Cashe's battalion commander, learn the full details of Cashe's courage that day outside the city of Samarra.

Cashe rescued six badly burned soldiers while under enemy small-arms fire. His own uniform caught fire, engulfing him in flames. Even with second- and-third degree burns over three-fourths of his body, Cashe continue to pull soldiers out of a vehicle set ablaze when a roadside bomb ruptured a fuel tank.

Before all of those details emerged, Cashe was awarded a Silver Star, the military's third-highest award for valor, after Brito nominated him. But soon after learning more about Cashe's actions, Brito mounted an unusual Medal of Honor campaign that has continued for more than seven years.

If the latest batch of sworn statements submitted to the Army by Brito is successful, Cashe will become the first African American among 16 service members awarded the nation's highest medal for valor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Cashe, 35, died of his burns three weeks after the bomb attack. Seven of the 16 medals have been awarded posthumously.

"You don't often find truly selfless sacrifice where someone put his soldiers' welfare before his own," Brito said. "Sgt. Cashe was horribly wounded and continued to fight to save his men."
read more here

Article from Orlando Sentinel in July
Friends, family gather as Army names Reserve Center after fallen hero
By Susan Jacobson
Orlando Sentinel
Published: July 20, 2014

SANFORD, Fla. — Gary Mills owes his life to the late Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe.

Mills was one of half a dozen soldiers whom Cashe pulled from a burning Bradley Fighting Vehicle after a roadside bomb hit it in Iraq on Oct. 17, 2005.

Badly burned over most of his body, Cashe died Nov. 9, 2005.

But his name will live on in Sanford, where Mills joined dozens of Cashe's fellow soldiers, friends, family and dignitaries at a ceremony Saturday naming the new U.S. Army Reserve Center after the fallen hero.

"It's long overdue," Mills, 34, of Jacksonville said of the recognition.

On the lawn of the 31,030-square-foot training building near Orlando Sanford International Airport, speakers praised Cashe's bravery, selflessness and dedication and read proclamations from Gov. Rick Scott and Sanford Mayor Jeff Triplett recognizing Cashe's sacrifice.

Representatives of Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, also paid their respects.

Two of Cashe's brothers and a sister -- he comes from a blended family of 18 siblings -- spoke of his impeccable character and remembered his love of hunting and fishing.

Cashe joined the Army immediately after graduating from Oviedo High School in 1988. He had deployed to Iraq once before during Operation Iraqi Freedom and had previously served in Bosnia and the first Gulf War.

When he died at 35, Cashe left a wife and three children in addition to his mother, siblings and a large extended family.
read more here

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fort Campbell Boots Honor Fallen

UPDATE A last-minute outpouring of support for massive memorial project at Fort Campbell ensures every fallen hero since 9/11 – all 7,000 – will be remembered for Military Survivor Appreciation Week
Durbin, an Iraq War veteran, testified Tuesday that he was accosted and shot while sleeping in his car on Allison Hill after giving a fellow soldier a ride home.
Fort Campbell Survivor Outreach Services Honors Fallen Soldiers with Boot Display
Clarksville Online
October 27, 2014
Soldiers with the 551st Military Police Company and 1/506 Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team arrived first thing Friday morning to start setting up the Survivor Outreach Services boot display honoring service members who died in support of the Global War on Terror since Sept. 11, 2001.
(Photo by Nondice Thurman, Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office)

Fort Campbell, KY – In honor of Military Survivor Appreciation Week, formerly known as Gold Star Family Appreciation Week, more than 5,000 boots are on display on the lawn of the 101st Airborne Division Headquarters.

The boots have been collected from military service members across Fort Campbell and abroad to honor service members who died in support of the Global War on Terror since September 11th, 2001.

This display of combat boots honors the memories and sacrifice of the military men and women who gave their lives while serving our country.
read more here

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Christian faith and Native-American heritage honor life of Pfc. Keith Williams

Remembering Pfc. Williams
Visalia Times
David Castellon
August 9, 2014
Pictured- Spiritual leaders Mike Sisco, center, Keith Turner, left, and Joey Garfield, not pictured, representing the Tachi, Mono and Tule River tribes, respectively, sing traditional ceremonial songs and blessings for Army Pfc. Keith M. Williams during the funeral Saturday at El Diamante High School.

Family, friends and hundreds of people from the community gather Saturday at El Diamante High School as Army Pfc. Keith M. Williams of Visalia is celebrated with a Native American ceremony and military honors by the California State Honor Guard. Pfc. Williams, 19, of Visalia, CA, died July 24 in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, CO. Pfc. Williams was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Pfc. Williams is a graduate of El Diamante.(Photo: Steve R. Fujimoto, Steve R. Fujimoto)

In a pair of ceremonies honoring both his Christian faith and his Native-American heritage, a Visalia soldier killed in Afghanistan was honored Saturday.

About 1,100 people nearly filled to capacity the Visalia First Assembly of God Church, where Pfc. Keith M. Williams was baptized as a child and the first of his funeral services were held.

Most in attendance likely didn't know the 19-year-old killed July 24 when an improvised explosive device hit the vehicle he was in that was leading a convoy in Mirugol Kalay, in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province.
read more here

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day and a Mother's Loss

Fisher House for Families of the Fallen in Delaware is a place where family members can stay while waiting for the return of their sons, daughters, husbands and wives. It is a place where they can be supported on one of the saddest times in their lives.
A Mother's Loss
For the past 38 years, military service in the United States has been voluntary. As U.S. citizens, we are fortunate to have men and women who, knowing the dangers that may lie ahead, continue to answer the call and proudly serve our nation.

Behind every man and woman at war is a family on the home front. Their support is unconditional, their prayer always the same – a safe return.

Kristofor Stonesifer was one of those brave and committed young people whose life goals included becoming a U.S. Army Ranger. Thirty-eight days after Sept. 11, he was the first killed in action in Operation Enduring Freedom. He and Jonn Edmunds, a fellow Ranger, died on Oct. 19, 2001, in a helicopter crash the first night of major military operation in Afghanistan.

Gold Star Mother Ruth Stonesifer
Ruth Stonesifer, proud Gold Star Mother of Kristofor Stonesifer Kristofor’s mother, Ruth Stonesifer, became the first Operation Enduring Freedom mother to take on the national presidency of the American Gold Star Mothers, which she described as a “wonderful organization none of us ever wanted to become eligible to join but we are grateful to have.”
read more here

Saturday, March 1, 2014

'My dad was a soldier. He's in heaven now'

'My dad was a soldier. He's in heaven now':
Touching note of thanks that the eight-year-old son of dead Iraq veteran handed to soldier in restaurant along with $20 note
Myles Eckert, eight, found the cash in the parking lot of Cracker Barrel on February 7
Instead of buying a video game, he gave it to Lt. Col. Frank Dailey who was eating at the restaurant He said in a note that Dailey reminded him of his deceased dad who was a soldier and his family liked to 'pay it forward'

Army Sgt. Andy Eckert was killed in Iraq, just five weeks after Myles was born

PUBLISHED: 01:53 EST, 1 March 2014

Touching: Myles wrapped the $20 in this handwritten note and gave it to Lt. Col. Frank Dailey

 When eight-year-old Myles Eckert found $20 in a Cracker Barrel parking lot, he didn't spend it on a video game - he gave it to a soldier to thank him for his service.

Myles was just five-weeks-old when his father, Army Sgt. Andy Eckert was killed in Iraq.

In honor of his dad's memory, the Ohio boy wrapped the money in a touching handwritten note and handed it to Lt. Col. Frank Dailey who was eating lunch at the restaurant:
'Dear Soldier - my dad was a soldier. He's in heaven now. I found this 20 dollars in the parking lot when we got here. We like to pay it forward in my family. It's your lucky day! Thank you for your service. Myles Eckert, a gold star kid.' read more here

Monday, January 6, 2014

Who was the first to die in Afghanistan in 2014?

Sgt. First Class William K. Lacey, 38, of Laurel, Fla., died Jan. 4, 2014
US Soldier First Coalition Combat Death of 2014
Stars and Stripes
by Toshio Suzuki
Jan 06, 2014

The Department of Defense identified a 38-year-old U.S. soldier based at Fort Knox as the servicemember killed by an insurgent attack Saturday in eastern Afghanistan.

Sgt. 1st Class William K. Lacey died from injuries received during a rocket-propelled grenade attack in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, according to the DOD release. His death marks the first combat loss of 2014 for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
read more here

They must have forgotten about "Sgt. Jacob M. Hess, 22, of Spokane, Wash., died Jan. 1, 2014, while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan."

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fallen veteran's photo used in fake Facebook page

Family outraged after fallen veteran's photo used in fake Facebook page, dating site profiles
Published December 05, 2013

The family of a fallen war veteran is outraged after his photo surfaced on a fake Facebook account and a dating website profile.

Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Pucino, of Bourne, Mass., who completed three tours of duty in Iraq, was killed in 2009 while on combat patrol in Afghanistan, reports.

Pucino's family recently discovered that his image was used to create a fake Facebook page, claiming to be someone living in Dallas.

"I was about coming out of my skin. I don't even know how to describe it. I mean, the anger, it was hard to sleep that night. I was so furious that someone would disrespect his name and pose as Matthew, he's a fallen hero," said his sister, Lisa Haglof.
read more here

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Army Rangers honor bravery of Capt. Jennifer Moreno at memorial

Memorial for feisty Madigan nurse Moreno salutes her bravery in Afghanistan
The Olympian
Adam Ashton
Staff Writer
Published: November 2, 2013

Col. Stephen Yoest, foreground, deputy commander for clinical services at Madigan Army Medical Center; Lt. Col. Timothy O’Haver, Madigan chief of staff; Col. Lena Gaudreau, deputy commander for nursing; and Chaplain Lt. Col. Jimmy Davis leave flowers at a newly dedicated memorial Friday at Madigan in memory of Capt. Jennifer Moreno, a medic killed while on a mission in Afghanistan.
The death of Army nurse Capt. Jennifer Moreno in Afghanistan last month devastated her teammates.

They told themselves they should have been the ones to take that dangerous mission with a team of Army Rangers instead of the feisty medic from San Diego with the broad smile.

But as the days wore on after the Oct. 6 bombings that killed four soldiers and wounded 30 more, Moreno’s friend and commander Capt. Amanda King realized it “couldn’t have happened any other way.”

Only Moreno, 25, had the bravery to race through a heavily mined village to try to save wounded Rangers.

“None of us would have done what you did, running into hell to save your wounded brothers, knowing full well you probably wouldn’t make it back,” King wrote in eulogy to her friend.
read more here

Friday, October 11, 2013

Obama Signs Military Death Benefits Bill

Obama Signs Military Death Benefits Bill
The Huffington Post
By Ashley Alman
Posted: 10/10/2013

President Barack Obama signed into law a bill providing benefits to the families of fallen troops during the government shutdown on Thursday.

The bill, which passed the House and Senate with unanimous approval, guarantees that family members of deceased soldiers continue to receive death gratuities and other survivor benefits from the Pentagon.

On Wednesday, the White House said Obama was "disturbed" to find that families of fallen troops weren't receiving death benefits during the shutdown.

The administration had worked out a temporary solution before the bill was signed, in which the Fischer House Foundation would make payments to the soldiers' families from its own funds. The Defense Department planned to reimburse the foundation at the end of the shutdown.
read more here

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Senate elders denounce suspension of death benefit for families of fallen

I have my issues with John McCain but I give him credit for saying that we did have an election last year and "Obamacare" is a settled issue. Now I give him even more credit for this.
Senate elders denounce suspension of death benefit for families of fallen
NBC News
By Erin McClam
Staff Writer
October 8,2013

The Senate sat in almost total silence Tuesday as two of its most respected members denounced the suspension of a benefit that helps families of fallen soldiers meet their flag-draped coffins — an unexpected side effect of the government shutdown.

The benefit, known as the death gratuity, wires $100,000 to families to help them cover funeral costs and travel to receive the bodies of their loved ones. It was left unpaid to the families of five American service members killed in Afghanistan over the weekend.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. and a veteran himself, told his colleagues that they should be ashamed.

“Shouldn’t we as a body, Republican or Democrat — shouldn’t we be embarrassed? Ashamed?” he asked. “What do American people think when they see that death benefit for those who served and sacrifice — they're not eligible?”

Waving a copy of a news story about the suspension, he said: “I’m ashamed! I’m embarrassed. All of us should be.”
read more here

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fallen soldier Brittany Gordon as 'uncommonly brave and uncommonly kind'

Mourners recall soldier Brittany Gordon as 'uncommonly brave and uncommonly kind'
Tampa Bay Times
By Kameel Stanley
Times Staff Writer
October 28, 2012

ST. PETERSBURG — Cedric Gordon spent many days alone in his living room, hoping he would never see a stranger in uniform walking to his door.

As the father of a deployed soldier, it could only mean something bad.

But Gordon, St. Petersburg's assistant police chief, tried to put it out of his mind. He learned to comfort himself.

His baby served in an elite unit. People were praying for her. What were the chances she wouldn't make it home in December from her first overseas assignment?

On Oct. 13, Army Spc. Brittany Bria Gordon, an Army intelligence analyst, was killed when a suicide bomber attacked her unit in Kandahar, Afghanistan, becoming the first female soldier from Tampa Bay to die in the recent wars.

The 2006 St. Petersburg High graduate, the only daughter of Cedric Frank Gordon and Brenda Thompson Gordon of St. Petersburg, was 24.

"I kept asking God: Why Brittany? Why my daughter? Why my baby girl?" Gordon told a standing-room only crowd gathered for his daughter's funeral Saturday at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church. "But I know that knowing God is better than knowing why."
read more here

Spc. Brittany B. Gordon "Her Dream was to serve"

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Motorcycle ride to raise funds for children of troops killed in war

Motorcycle ride to raise funds for children of troops killed in war
The (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Gazette
Published: June 20, 2012

An upcoming motorcycle ride aims to help children whose parents have died in war.

The Freedom Seekers Association will host a 200-mile motorcycle ride across Colorado on July 7, said Jeff Holt, a member of the club. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund. The rest will be donated to children in the Pikes Peak region who have lost a father in combat.

The ride will stop at a handful of war memorials along the Front Range, as well as in the mountains just west of Colorado Springs, Holt said.
read more here

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Patriot Guard's Ride to Remember honors fallen soldiers

Patriot Guard's Ride to Remember honors fallen soldiers
Continues today through Southern Indiana
By Jared Council
Posted May 19, 2012

EVANSVILLE — As the engines of some 33 motorcycles revved early Saturday on the parking lot of Atlas Van Lines, Southwest Indiana Patriot Guard Rider Pete Smith looked back at his comrades and said, "Let's go."

With fallen American military men and women in mind, local Riders have been revving and going for the past five years. Saturday's ride continued the tradition of their "Ride to Remember: Never Forget."

"We made a promise that we would never forget," Senior Ride Captain Rick Williams told the crowd of about 50 riders before event, "and this is just a continuation and fulfillment of our promise."

Saturday was the first day of the two-day annual ride. American flags fluttered from the motorcycles or accompanying cars, as the riders trekked to cemeteries from Evansville to Poseyville to honor eight soldiers.
read more here

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Soldier's wife weeps over coffin at Smyrna Airport

As you look at this picture, think of how much this picture changed us.

Body of Franklin soldier Jason Edens returns home to family
May. 4, 2012
Written by
Vicky Travis
The Tennessean
The body of Army Spc. Jason K. Edens of Franklin was flown home Thursday morning, to Smyrna Airport, where about 100 people, including friends, family and members of the Patriot Guard, had gathered to pay respects.

Ashley Edens says goodbye to her husband, Cpl. Jason Edens. / Cpt. Darrin Haas / Tennessee National Guard
Edens, a 2007 Franklin High School graduate and aspiring Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agent, was injured on April 15 during an enemy attack on his unit in Laghaman province in Afghanistan. He died April 26 at Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland.

“He was a remarkable guy,” said Jan Edens, Jason’s stepmother, who acted as a family spokeswoman. “He was a fun guy, loved by everyone, and so sweet. … I can’t put it all into words.”

At first, the family was going to keep the arrival very private. But once their military liaison let them know people wanted to come, they decided to open it up.
read more here

Up until this moment, you didn't know Ashely anymore than you knew her husband but as of today, this painful moment captured by the lens of a camera has been spread across nations. The Daily Mail UK picked up on the story.

They spend their days trying to live as normal as possible with the same problems the rest of us have but for them, the families of deployed servicemen and women, they worry about what the next moment can bring.

You see them in your office answering the phone but you don't know how often they worry that phone call may be the one with the bad news.

You see them in the grocery store with a couple of kids in the shopping cart as they hold a product in their hands and think about how much their loved one loved to eat it and the rush of worry pops into their brain.

This picture reminds all of us that men and women are paying the price for all we have today along with their families. We honor them on Memorial Day but the rest of the year we just forget all about them. Pictures like this, wake us up. What will it take to keep us awake and aware of them the rest of the year?