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Tyler veteran holds memorial for fallen 13 soldiers in Afghanistan

Wendy Velin decided to hold the memorial in order to bring others together in hopes to allow...
Wendy Velin decided to hold the memorial in order to bring others together in hopes to allow others to grieve especially fellow veterans like herself.(kltv)
Published: Sep. 4, 2021 at 10:03 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - On Saturday, a memorial was held at Dog Tags in Tyler for the 13 soldiers who died in an attack in Afghanistan.

Wendy Velin who is a a Marine veteran wanted to continue the conversation of the attack. She decided to bring others together by holding the memorial in hopes to allow others to grieve especially fellow veterans like herself.

“My idea is to allow people to gather and have conversation and my concern and my worry is that we have a lot of Afghanistan veterans here in East Texas area who are suffering right now because they don’t understand what has happened,” said Velin.

One of those Afghanistan veterans is Terrence Vanatta. The news of the attack reminded Vanatta of his time in Afghanistan.

“It starts as a reminder like dang that could have happened to me and then it kind of starts making you think about some of the stuff you experienced,” said Vanatta.

Vanatta is proud that people in the community are willing to do something like this to honor the fallen. He says it is because it helps shines a light on the sacrifice those who serve make.

“It is not all glamorous and this kind of stuff this can happen to people,” said Vanatta. “I feel like that is just as important as telling someone hey thanks, I appreciate that you did that or you served or whatever it’s like, no the reality is this could actually happen to someone.”

The memorial that was set out followed the Fallen Solider Table format that many use for Memorial Day.

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