My son Mike Jr. was killed in Iraq in January of 2005.
What I would like to do is tell you a story about that day and about another Marine. His name is Adam.
Nadine and I were in Phoenix visiting relatives. A friend told me about a man who is a radio talk show host on a local station. While my friend was listening to the show, the host started talking about a flag that was displayed on the wall behind his desk that had been aboard a helicopter that had crashed in Iraq.
I wanted desperately to see the flag or get at least get a picture of it so I began an e-mail conversation with the gentleman.
Over the next couple of days I found out that the flag was part of the gear that belonged to his son, Adam. Adam, along with his gear, including this flag, had been ordered off the helicopter by a sergeant and was to board another helicopter involved in the mission in order to make room for the sergeant on the first helicopter.
The helicopters were to fly north to secure an area to make it safe for the Iraqi people to vote.
One of the helicopters crashed shortly after takeoff after being engulfed in a dust storm , while the other continued on its mission as ordered.
The sergeant that removed Adam from the first helicopter was my son Mike.
For the 29 that died that day, their suffering is over but for Adam and for so many others that have post-traumatic stress disorder, their suffering continues.
I don't think Mike would have considered himself a hero, but rather a United States Marine who had a job that he could not complete.
Memorial Day is a great day to stop and remember those who have fallen, not only in this war but in all wars.
For those of us that are Gold Star families every day is Memorial Day.
Please take a moment to remember all those that have died and remember too, all those that did not, and may still be suffering from the effects of this war and for those of the past.