MEMORIAL DAY- A STORY WORTH REPEATING….
I posted this story last year on Memorial Day, but it is such an important one I decided to make it a tradition this year! I hope you enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend. I am spending the day with my family and hope you are doing the same! See you on Wednesday…
Last night I sat down with the Sunday paper to cut coupons until I remembered that there aren’t any coupons on holiday weekends. So as I was reading the paper I came across the “Parade” insert that is always included. The front page showed a picture of two headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. The title of the story was “A Memorial Day Tribute–Forever United” written by Barry Yeoman.
As the mother of a Marine deployed in Afghanistan for a year my biggest fear was that dreaded visit telling me my son would not be coming home. I had nightmares all of the time. The very last curve on my way home from work was the hardest to drive. I would actually sneak up on my own house. Scared to death to see a foreign car in the driveway. I often pictured driving straight past my house so I could not be given the awful news. It’s been a couple of years now, but I can still remember those fears quite vividly.
The story I read was of two boys who went to the Naval Academy together. They became the best of friends, even their families became friends. Travis L. Manion and Brendan Looney. They cheered each other on and pushed each other to succeed.
Travis was deployed first. While on patrol he was killed trying to draw enemy fire away from two injured soldiers. He died on April 27th, 2007. He was only 26 years old. Brendan was devastated as you can imagine, but he wanted to make his best friend proud. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008, two days after his wedding. He went on 58 successful missions. On September 21, 2010, he flew on his last mission where his helicopter crashed killing him and 8 other soldiers.
Travis was originally buried in Pennsylvania close to his parents home. After Brendan’s death, it was decided that they should be buried next to each other in Arlington National Cemetery. Travis was moved, and in death as they were throughout their lives they are side by side for eternity.
It was a very moving article. The sister of Travis Manion started a foundation in his name that helps returning veterans acclimate to life back at home through a mentoring program. Brendan’s wife Amy works there also. Travis’ father co-authored a book about Travis and Brendan’s friendship titled “Brothers Forever”.
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy, and deal with the rest.
I love you, momma!