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All Gave Some, Some Gave All

Observing Memorial Day

Memorial Day – sales, barbeques, mini family vacations, the unofficial start of summer– the list could go on and on how people “celebrate” their three-day weekend, but the meaning of Memorial Day goes far beyond barbecues and mall sales.

It wasn’t until I was 25 years old, and going through my husband’s first deployment that I truly understood why America marks this day as a national holiday.

My husband deployed to Afghanistan with Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, out of Vicenza, Italy, in July of 2012. We had been married for less than two months, and as newlyweds, you can imagine our fear of how life-changing this time was about to be for us.

It was July 24, 2012. My husband and his company were on day 15 of their nine-month deployment. I got a late-night message from him that said, “Hey.” Before I could even answer, he was offline. It wasn’t until the next morning, around 4 a.m. that my phone rang, waking me up from a hard sleep that I would understand why my husband was so short with his message the night before. It was a phone call that I will never forget. It went something like this “Mrs. Guillory, this phone call  is to let you know that your husband is okay,” – then came the huge “but” – “But a Chosen Company soldier has been killed in action.” I remember sitting there in silence, thinking, “Am I dreaming right now? It hasn’t even been one month, and we still have nine to go! The soldier on the phone then said, “Mrs. Guillory, are you okay?” While I really wanted to scream “No!” and ask how this could have happened already, I replied, “Yes,” and hung up.

Private Adam Ross was killed that day. He was only 19 years old, leaving behind his parents, his brother, and his girlfriend. That day changed my husband’s life forever. He was right there, next to Private Ross when he died. A young man, just two years out of high school, and he had his entire life still ahead of him.

Specialist James Justice was also killed during that deployment. He died in a German hospital on August 17, 2012, after being injured just days before. He was 21 years old, and left behind a wife, three step-daughters, and his parents. He too still had a lifetime ahead of him.

These two young men are just two of the over 2,000 soldiers killed in this now 13-year-long war in Afghanistan – a number that doesn’t even come close to the almost 1,355,000 Americans who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country since the Revolutionary War.

So whatever your plans are this Memorial Day, please set aside some time in your day to be thankful that such men and women lived and fought for our Country. After all, they are the reason we live in freedom today.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” — General George S. Patton


Pfc Adam Ross (1992-2012)
Watch Pfc Ross’s Fallen Hero Ceremony in Afghanistan HERE.


Spc James Justice (1990-2012)




Nichole Guillory

Public Relations & Social Media Manager

Nichole holds a degree in Communication from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Her years as a television news producer made it an easy transition to the fast-paced and engaging worlds of public relations and social media.