I got this facebook message yesterday:
[My name is hansel loria. Your brother was in charge of me in fallujah iraq. Ive spent the last couple of years thinking of what to say. I never properly paid my respect to his family. I was just turning 18, was new, i did not know how to handle it or deal with it. Time has made me grow nd clarified all that happened that year. I want his family to know that those who served with him love him. Chris was not only in charge of me, but he was a mentor. As i told ur mom, chris would always be the person who made me not like the military. Everything i did, he had a comment for. He was soo strict on me, while other leaders were easy on their new joints. I thought i had it bad untill i woke up. I came to realize that chris was hard on me because he wanted his team to be the best. He demanded so much of us and push me to the limit. He made me a better marine than i would have ever been, but god knows i could not have been better than he. Chris was the best marine i ever knew. The smartest, fastest, strongest, most courageous, he had it all. He had a huge heart, thats what seperated him. I want to say sorry for your loss, sorry i didnt call or write. I dealt with his loss the wrong way, but time heals wounds. But his loss is also our loss. Hes been in my heart and mind this entire time. Me and nathin nattin were in his team. Im sorry to bring n e painfull memories with this email. We mourn for your brother just as you. I will never forget chris. Im returning to the services now actually. I want you to know that his memory will be carried with me. and when it is time to fight again, i will do so in honor if your brother. Heroes never fall, they gain wings.]
It would be worse if no one remembered… but each letter, each word, breaks my heart over and over, and my heart cannot heal when the sutures are repeatedly torn out.