Memorial Day Special For Families Still Watching Middle East - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/26/03 - Henderson

Memorial Day Special For Families Still Watching Middle East

   While Americans took Memorial Day to honor the military, some East Texas families were thinking of their own sons and daughters still overseas.

   Flags and yellow ribbons in front of the Adams' Henderson house show what's on the mind of the family inside. While Wayne Adams works the grill for his family's Memorial Day dinner, his mind is halfway around the world with his son, Brad, still stationed in the Middle East.

   "Every time you hear of a Marine wounded or killed," Wayne says, "you freeze up."

   For his wife Edna and daughter Kristen, Memorial Day has always been special. This year, it's even more so in a more personal way.

   "We've always been thankful to the military," Edna Adams says, "But this year has a special meaning because of Brad."

   "Remembering all of the veterans and now my brother is over there, and he's going to be a veteran now, that makes it a little bit more special," says Kristin McRae, Brad's sister.

   "I believe when he comes back," Wayne says, "Memorial Day will always have a special meaning for him, too because he'll know what it's like to fight for this country because he's been there."

   Even though the war has ended, the family still worries for their son, and the other soldiers overseas.

   "A lot of the pressure was off of all of them," Wayne says. "The danger went away, but it wasn't over. It won't be over 'til he comes home."

   So, for now, the burgers and chicken are done, and Memorial Day dinner is served. But the meal is still lacking one thing, and Wayne knows only time can fill that empty chair.

   "When we see him at home on American soil, we'll know he's safe and until then, it's just day-to day being anxious."

   Reid Kerr (rkerr@kltv.com) reporting.

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