Honoring Americans Who Died Overseas

By: Brigette Burnett Email
By: Brigette Burnett Email

Monday, people all over the country will be honoring men and women who died overseas while fighting for our freedoms. Some are already showing their respect.

"It's a very special day. It's a very humbling day. It's a day that I think a lot of us take for granted all that we have," said Rollie Schultz.

Two days before Memorial Day area residents are honoring Americans who put their lives on the line for us. A commemoration that some only recognize once a year, but Memorial Day means so much to so many people everyday of their lives.

"October 2nd 2009, it was early in the morning and we were just waking up and they came to our door to tell us and we just both had a sense of what the news was when they came knocking at our door. It was actually two weeks before our anniversary which was kind of not the anniversary present you wish for," said Jalane Adams.

Jalane's son, Sergeant Ryan Adams from Rhinelander was killed in Afghanistan when he was attacked by enemy forces using rocket-propelled grenade fire. The 26-year-old joined the Army National Guard in 2001. Sgt. Adams died a month before he was expected to return home and now he and other service people are being recognized for their bravery.

"It helps you know that your fighting for their freedoms. Your not just fighting for yourself or to prove anything. your doing for the people you love back home," responded Marine Corp. member, Anthony Coci.

Many extend their heartfelt gratitude to the Gold Star Mothers and everyone else that lost family members and friends. Nothing could prepare Jopek for that life-changing knock on the door.

"You know it's one of those visits you hope you never get. When it does, you just adapt and do what you have to do to make sure he's remembered and remembered appropriately," said Tracy Jopek.

Remembered appropriately is exactly what is happening with Tracy's son Sgt. Ryan Jopek. A day that not only veterans look forward to, it's a time that everyone celebrates.

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