Group Working To Honor And Remember Fallen Officers In Kansas

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (WIBW) -- When someone in the Armed Forces dies serving our country, communities show all the support they can.

But once the attention has died down, their families still want the nation to remember their loved one's sacrifice.

13 News spoke with a few women who are spreading that message.

April 5 is Gold Star Wives Day. It honors not only the widows of war, but their spouses, who deserve the spotlight.

"He was an amazing soldier."

Amber Martini remembers her soldier everyday, for his commitment to his country and to her, as her husband.

"He had an amazing laugh and if he was laughing you were probably laughing."

Amber's husband Ralph Mena is the last casualty of the Iraq war from Kansas.

Honor And Remember, an organization that works to continue honoring fallen soldiers, presented Amber with a flag adorned with Ralph's name.

"That he's still being honored and remembered for his service to his country - for me, that's perfect for him," Amber said.

The network of support honor and remember gives means the world to those mourning their loss.

"We're actually recognizing these fallen heroes and giving back to the families something that says they're not forgotten," Director of Kansas Honor And Remember Betty Wright said. "Whether it's the current conflict, or Vietnam, or Korea, doesn't matter, we want to remember all of them."

It is their mission to reach out to others so no one else will have to go through it alone.

"You're grateful to have those people who understand," Amber said, "Who can hug you and move forward with you and be happy to be living even though they aren't here with us."

Ralph isn't here to accept his recognition, but Amber knows how he would've felt about it.

"Oh, i think he'd be proud."

Since March 17, the Kansas Honor And Remember chapter has presented 25 personalized flags. They have 13 more to go this year.


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