On a warm spring afternoon 22 years ago, my dad and I sat chatting on the lawn outside a clinic where my mother, who suffered from early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, was having an MRI. My dad had been her caregiver for nearly 10 years. During a lull in our conversation, he took his worn leather wallet from his pocket and, from between two old photographs, he pulled out a lock of hair. “I think it’s time I told you about Helen…” he began.
After working 18 hour days in eastern Afghanistan where he operates and repairs armored vehicles damaged by blasts from improvised explosive devices or mechanical failures, Private First Class Ryan Reynaud of Gilroy returned to base camp and was met with an unpleasant surprise: Breakfast was no longer being served in the chow hall.
Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Gonzalez (3rd Battalion 7th Marines India Company) - a Gilroy native - returned home from Afghanistan on April 18 to the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Base.
Dust settled everywhere as Company Commander Greg Wrubluski rose from the ground, sprinted toward a gaping dirt crater and screamed the name of his comrade.