top of page

Memorial Day

School has officially ended and all across America, people rejoice in an extra day for the weekend. Boats are cranked up, grills turned on high, and ice-cold cans are being cracked. Many will be adorned in the nation's colors, some even display a flag from their boat and turn on Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White in Blue". And while they may turn their minds to the meaning of this day for a passing few moments, for most today is simply an extra 24 hours of relaxation with a small nod to the fallen. 

But that is not the case for everyone. There are men and women scattered throughout this land who spend today deep within themselves. Faces, sounds, perfectly intact memorials playing on a loop in their heads. Perhaps some are even out telling the stories of the fallen to others, making sure they are not lost in the wind. These men and women are the comrades of the fallen, and they will be the first to tell you today is not for them. And that is true, today is not for them today is for their brothers and sisters who fought next to them and did not come home. But today the ones who are home, who made it back to this beautiful land we call home, keep the memories alive of those who were left behind. 

I am blessed. I am the daughter, the granddaughter of soldiers who made it home. But from the moment my father's combat boots returned to the Alabama dirt, he told the stories, he spoke the names of the men he had lost. He told us of their bravery but also of the day-to-day lives of the families they had left behind. We remembered them at the dinner table, at holidays, and even on a windy December night after Louis Armstrong's" What a Wonderful World". It is a wonderful world, a wonderful nation we live in thanks to men like those of the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade who sacrificed the most precious thing they had, their lives. 

I don't know them all. I can't know them all. But I do know these men. I never had the pleasure of meeting them but I have had the pleasure of remembering them of making sure they are not forgotten in time. Perhaps that is the best thing we can do today. Say the names, remember the stories and share them with anyone and everyone who will listen and ensure that although they are gone, truly they will never be forgotten. 

CPT Shane Mahaffee 

SSG Carlos Dominguez

LTC Daniel Holland

1SG Carlos Saenz 

SPC Teodoro Torres

SGT Nathan Jon Vacho

SSG Ronald Paulsen

To these men, to their families, thank you will never be enough but I promise you have not been forgotten. Nor will you ever be.

Please see the video below to learn more about the Fallen Heros of the 354th Civil Affairs Brigade



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I hope these little thoughts and big stories bring you great joy.


If you enjoy the stories, subscribe to my email list below to receive new posts right to your inbox!

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
bottom of page