My brother's headstone at the Missouri Veteran's Cemetery is a simple block of gray granite, but the words that are engraved mean so much to me and our family. It's how he lived, he never faced a hurdle too tall, a task too big. When he graduated high school in 1965, it wasn't long until his draft notice came in the mail. He was 18. He went to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri for 8 weeks and then onto Fort Belvoir, Virginia for a shorter period of time for combat training. I was 13 and to me it was a blur of activities... graduation and then he was gone. Gone from my life and Mom and Dad's life and I felt an emptiness that is hard to explain. He was one of the lucky ones who came back, many didn't.
I lost my brother in 2002 to congestive heart failure, he was only 55. I wish I could tell him how proud I was of him and that his Country owes those who fought that war so much, but it's too late. I think he knew how much it meant to our family and that we felt a great sense of pride for his service.
You can honor Veterans who gave their all by visiting the Virtual Wall of Remembrance. Post a note or a photo, even a video. A chance to say what is in our hearts this Memorial Day.