Today's blog posting is written by the spouse of a fallen Marine, Samantha. She shares how the unveiling of No Man Left Behind impacted her on that beautiful and windy afternoon.
"On March 8, 2013 I had the privilege to attend the Monument Unveiling of 'No Man Left Behind,' at the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East at Camp Lejeune. It was a beautiful day and I always look forward to events like this because I get the chance to hear some amazing stories of which relate to my own, and I also get the opportunity to meet the most amazing people!"
"I had previously met John Phelps at the Got Heart, Give Hope® Gala in 2012, but being able to hear the inspiration and story behind the Monument made me appreciate him even more than I already did. John Phelps and I relate to one another because both of our loved ones paid the ultimate sacrifice. After such an experience, somehow life is supposed to transform back to normal. Although with time you come up with a new routine, your experience and sacrifice is one that you can never forget."
"After my husband passed away, I decided for myself to live in his honor and do the best I could to carry on his legacy, and last but not least, do everything in my power to make sure that although he isn’t here, that he is never forgotten. Since his death, a bridge in his hometown of Cuba, New York was dedicated to him and we have also started a scholarship in his memory. To me, the Monument is a pure symbol of the sacrifices both of John Phelps and his son Chance, and also the Marines that are injured in war."
"Every time someone comes across the Monument or they hear about it, they will be reminded that freedom isn’t free. It is such an amazing thing to be able to remember your loved one, but it’s even more amazing for your loved one to be honored, and know that his sacrifice will never be forgotten."
|Samantha and John Phelps at last year's Gala|
Photo courtesy of Paul Oberle
Samantha is one of the honorees at this year's Got Heart, Give Hope® Gala. To learn more, visit the Gala webpage.