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A Heartfelt Thanks to America's Veterans!

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Memorial Day 2003 - Veterans from all around the United states came to O'Fallon for a reunion. Memories were made that will last forever.

Several of our special Veterans re-visited with our family again in June of 2012.

Proudly...we reprint our tribute to our special Veterans in my family's lives. I hope each one of them know how special they are to us...and how much we appreciate their pesence in our lives. We've been BLESSED!



The things that make a soldier great and send him out to die,
To face the flaming cannon's mouth nor ever question why,
Are lilacs by a little porch, the row of tulips red,
The peonies and pansies, too, the old petunia bed,
The grass plot where his children play, the roses on the wall:
'Tis these that make a soldier great.
He's fighting for them all.

'Tis not the pomp and pride of kings that make a soldier brave;
'Tis not allegiance to the flag that over him may wave;
For soldiers never fight so well on land or on the foam
As when behind the cause they see the little place called home.
Endanger but that humble street whereon his children run,
You make a soldier of the man who never bore a gun.
What is it through the battle smoke the valiant soldier sees?

The little garden far away, the budding apple trees,
The little patch of ground back there, the children at their play,
Perhaps a tiny mound behind the simple church of gray.
The golden thread of courage isn't linked to castle dome
But to the spot, where'er it be — the humblest spot called home.
And now the lilacs bud again and all is lovely there
And homesick soldiers far away know spring is in the air;
The tulips come to bloom again, the grass once more is green,
And every man can see the spot where all his joys have been.

He sees his children smile at him, he hears the bugle call,
And only death can stop him now — he's fighting for them all.


  On Memorial Day in 2003, a very special 'Band of Brothers' from the Vietnam War Era came from all around the United States to O'Fallon, Missouri for a reunion planned by terminally-ill Sgt Cary Voss. Few knew prior to arrival that they would gather to say their final good-byes to Sgt, Cary Voss, who was in the final stages of lung cancer.

  35 years had passed. They all were older. They all were wiser. But, one thing had not changed. Their love and respect for each other had never died.

  1 1/2 months later, one of Cary's comrades traveled to be at his side, with his family when he passed away.

  Cary was buried with full military honors at Jefferson Barracks Cemetery. Elsberry veterans stood guard at Cary's coffin throughout the wake. O'Fallon and St. Peters Veterans made sure they were present to perform the 21 gun salute. The special family of veterans took care of Cary's family to the end. 30 days later, the Cemetery Guard from St. Peters met with Cary's family and assisted them in properly preserving the American flag that covered Cary's casket.  

  The service of a Veteran doesn't end on a battlefield...and is never, ever forgotten.

  God Bless Our Veterans!

Our wonderful contibutor, Barney Tharp of Kentucky sent this photo out to the 'Band of Brothers' and their surviving families on a past Veterans Day. 

The 'family' lost Sgt Ed Risner (on left) n 2009.

Also pictured are: Cary Voss (center) and BarneyTharp.