On Memorial Day, Remembering Fallen Friends

May 28, 2017
Originally published on May 26, 2017 8:26 pm

The American Homefront Project talks with service members and veterans about who they're remembering this Memorial Day.

Jim Harkins, who served in the Air Force from 1954 to 1974, recalls a buddy shot down in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. He says his generation has "patriotism in our blood."

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World War II and Korean War veteran James Powell recalls joining the service at age 16. In an interview aboard the American Victory Ship Mariners Victory Museum in Tampa, he talks about the high casualties suffered by WWII merchant seamen.

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Master Chief and Navy SEAL, Mark Lubeskie, who is retiring after 31 years of service, pays tribute to fellow sailors who were lost in the 1989-1990 Panama invasion. Lubeskie is based at Special Operations Command Headquarters on Florida's MacDill Air Force Base.

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Ken Engasser is a retired, Army Chief Warrant Officer with 20 years service and now, is an instructor with the JROTC at Steinbrenner High School in Tampa. He named his son after a fallen friend.

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Joe Kilgore is chief of staff for the Joint Special Operations University based at the U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa. As a retired colonel in the Special Forces with 30 years service. he remembers “those who stood up when the wolf was at the door.”

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Erick Bertram retired as a Master Sergeant in 2005 after serving 20 years in the Army. He was part of Desert Storm, Desert Shield, OEF/OIF. He shares his thoughts on the meaning of Memorial Day for him as a veteran and instructor with the JROTC Newsome High School, Tampa.


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