DENISON, TX - A local hero, Braden Long, was remembered on Saturday. At a memorial service held at the American Legion in Denison. Losing a child isn't easy for any parent, but unfortunately for parents with children serving in the military, it's a reality many have to face.
It became a reality for the parents of Braden Long last year, when he was killed in the line of duty while serving in Iraq. His father William Long says it's important to keep the memory of these American heroes alive.
"They're here to make us and keep us safe and give us the freedom and stuff that we've come to expect in this world,” says Long. “It's important to remember their sacrifice that's allowed us to have the things we so desire."
That's where the american legion comes in. The community service based organization if full of veterans helping other veterans and in many cases, helping their families.
"We have a lot of resources that we know that we can divert questions to and help them in anything that they need, and help them close," says American Legion member Mark Thomson.
At Saturday’s service, Braden’s family members were presented with plaques and certificates honoring Braden’s sacrifice. Fourth district commander Mark Thomson says it's important to honor the families of fallen soldiers also because they've sacrificed along with the soldier.
"We're here for a tribute for the family, you know, it's kind of hard to lose someone that close to you,” says Thomson. “We want to honor their sacrifice also."
William Long says being part of these services has helped them deal with their loss and know that there are others coping with the same things.
"I think it’s very nice that we get to see a lot of support from the other military people and from the local community and everything,” says Long. “It’s very helpful to the family and knows that we're not alone."
In honor of Braden Long, both the mayors of Sherman and Denison declared April 19, 2008, Braden Long day.