Here are some examples of well written legacy stories:
Legacy Story # 1 for Army Cpl. Isaac E.
Isaac was born on July 3, 1978 in Rio Hondo, Texas. On Dec. 1, 2009 Cpl. I.E died serving his country while on patrol in Sharona, Afghanistan. He was 26 years old. Isaac was an amazing son, brother, husband, father, friend, and soldier. He was the type of guy that could really be called one in a million. His silly grin and sense of humor could brighten even the darkest times. He made it his mission to keep people smiling. He was easy to love. Suzzie and Isaac fell in love during the summer of “99” when Isaac was stationed with the 327 at Ft. Campbell. They were married Feb. 26, 2000. Ten months later they were blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Jake was definitely Isaacs' mini-me and was the love of his life. They were inseparable. It broke Isaacs' heart to have to leave Jake when he deployed to Afghanistan in March 2009, but he took great pride in being a soldier. He loved what he did and he loved his brothers in arms. Jake was just three years old when his dad died. Suzzie remembers a conversation her and Isaac had before his deployment where they discussed the "what if’s". Isaac said. "If I had to leave this world, there is no other way I would want to go. I would want my son to know that his dad died defending our country." This is the one thing that has kept me going, say’s Suzzie.
I strive to honor that wish and to make sure that Jake never forgets his daddy is a true hero, that he laid down his life for all of us. Isaac was one of the best guys I have ever known. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him, love him and miss him…..
But, I get to see Isaac in Jake every day. Jake is still Isaac’s “mini-me” and for that…….. I am blessed.
Legacy Story #2 for John Q
I met John the summer of 1991. He had just returned from a deployment with the USMC in support of Desert Storm. We immediately clicked. Less than a year later in May of 1992, we were married. Four years later and a move from the east coast to the west coast, we were blessed with our first child, Keely Eilis. We could not have been more thrilled to be parents. After a career change to the Army, where John began flying helicopters, we welcomed our second daughter, Madeline Grace! Again we were blessed with what John called a healthy and happy baby. We couldn't have asked for more! After a year tour to Korea straight out of flight school, our family moved to Savannah, Ga., where John continued his love of flying and serving his country.
Suddenly on September 11, 2001, the world changed. His unit was one of the first to be deployed. John deployed to Afghanistan the day after Christmas, 2001. He remained there for 7 months during Operation Anaconda where he and his fellow chinook pilots spent countless hours flying soldiers in and out of very hostile areas. He returned home and our family was whole again! The day after returning, he informed me that we were going on vacation. "Pack the bags, we are going to Florida!" John, Keely, Madeline and I jumped in the car without a question. We enjoyed our trip to the beach, a ride on a boat with daddy as the driver, a picnic on the boat and seeing dolphins in the ocean. It was a much needed break and gave us some very special memories which we still cherish. Our family had 6 months together before he was called back for another deployment. This deployment was to Iraq and wasn't expected to be as long. We prepared our girls for Daddy's trip and told them that I was pregnant. We were over joyed at the thought of having another child. John returned home from Iraq just 6 days before the arrival of our third child. Erin Riley was born and again we were blessed with a healthy, happy baby girl! Our lives were filled with hugs and kisses from 3 precious Irish girls.
John decided to apply for a special operations unit at Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah. Just 6 weeks after Erin was born, he called from Ft. Campbell to tell me that his assessment had gone very well and they wanted him... the only hitch was that they wanted him at Campbell not in Savannah and they needed him there in 20 days... so, we put our house on the market. We bought and sold a house, moved to Tennessee all in under 2 weeks with a newborn, a 7 year old and a 4 year old. The new unit would deploy but the length of deployments would not be so long and he'd get to spend more quality time with his girls. He was thrilled with the idea of being around with the kids more!
John's life and career ended abruptly on February 18, 2007. Not a day goes by that we don't feel the loss or miss his presence especially around dinner time. Tucking the girls in at night always meant special hugs that only he could give. Life as we knew it changed, forever. We realized that Daddy gave us all very special gifts. Gifts that we cherish and promise to never forget! Over John's career he was awarded numerous medals and honors but none meant as much to him as the gifts of his three special girls; Keely, Maddie and Erin.
Legacy Story # 3 for Micheal B.
It was July 15, 1994, when a handsome man asked me to dance. I glanced and smiled at him and told him that I would. We danced on a crowded dance floor for hours. Little did I know that he was the prince charming that I always dreamed about. His name was Michael B.
After being married for some time, Mike and I found out we were expecting our first child. We were very excited, but at the same time worried about him being in training and deployed all the time. When I met him, I didn't think of the consequences in being involved with a military man.
Michael was an over achiever and was all in until he got what he wanted. While deployed, he took online college courses, receiving a bachelor degree in 2000 from Fayetteville University.
Being an airborne Ranger, it took a toll on his back. Even after treatment, he still suffered from the pain, but that didn't stop him from running miles and doing PT every morning.
The 9/11 attacks infuriated him. He wanted to go back to a regular infantry unit, where he can be deployed. I told him, “you’re crazy" and his response was, "I am trained to protect this country." Since there were no slots for him in the regular unit, he decided to go to the training unit in Germany. Thankfully, there were no slots for him in the regular unit. But, as a go-getter, he was able to find people in the regular unit to add him to the list, so when they needed a first sergeant, he was their man. I didn't want him to go to war, but as a supporting Army wife, I told him okay. He kept his promise to fight for this country.
In October of 2004, his brigade left to Iraq. It was a sad and nerve wracking day for me, but he re-assured me that he would be back. On April 23, 2005, I received a phone call that no one would ever want. Mike was badly injured and might not survived. This message shocked my body to the point it became numb. They flew me to Germany the next day. In a comma, my energetic husband was lying there helpless. We flew him home along with five other injured soldiers from Iraq.
It was also our 10th year wedding anniversary! He fought for his life for two weeks in the Army Brook Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. On May 10, 2005, I kissed him my last goodbye.
As I Sit in front of my computer writing this, still feelings hopelessness come over me. I think about my children and what they have been going through since losing their dad. I was wishing there was something I could do to help ease their pain over these last few years. Counseling had helped a little, but Hannah was still coming home and crying for her daddy on a regular basis. She had been her daddy’s little girl. Jacob on the other hand, kept his emotions to himself in an attempt to protect me. But, through God’s grace, we had attended an event in California and met many families who also lost their love ones from the war. This really has helped us as a family.
Through different organizations, my kids and I have met other families of fallen soldiers and I heard about A Soldier’s Child Foundation. I registered my children late one night and then totally forgot about it until a huge box arrived few weeks before their birthdays. As instructed, they waited until their birthday to open the box and were overwhelmed by the contents... not just by the wonderful gifts but to know that people, complete strangers to us, cared enough about them to ensure they felt cherished and remembered on their birthdays.
Our family gives heartfelt thanks to A Soldier’s Child Birthday Foundation and to those that help them to give generously to the children of the fallen heroes. Thank you for not forgetting our families.