In Tyler, hundreds of veterans and families paid tribute to fallen soldiers Monday morning.
Adorning of the wreath ceremonies and a 21-gun salute were held at Memorial Park Cemetery. The ceremony escalated as a procession of veterans, dating back to World War II, marched through the crowd to the sound of taps.
Not even a downpour of rain could chase supporters away.
"It's been my position to be on both sides of this situation," said Rev. and Marine Corps. Mike Ford. "Once I was the son going away, and my Dad was telling me goodbye. This time, my son went away and I was telling him goodbye. It's much easier leaving and going to combat, than being a parent and staying behind."
Ford and his wife, Sonya, expect their son Jason Hitt home this week. Jason, a marine corporal like his father, took part in the marine invasion of Tikrit.