So, my Uncle Johnny died last month of a sudden heart attack in his sleep. He was my dad’s only brother. I looked up to him in many ways. He was more than an uncle to me, he was a big brother to me. I feel like he has always been there in my life and is one of the main reasons why I joined the Army and requested the 101st Airborne (AASLT) Division. We are having his memorial ceremony on Saturday the 19th, and I have been asked by my Aunt to say a few words over the ceremony and to present his flag to my cousin. I am very honored to be asked to undertake such a task, however it has not been easy. See Uncle Johnny was not only an uncle and a big brother figure in my life he was also a brother-in-arms. He was deployed during Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He is the only other person in my family, that I know of, that has experienced ground combat as I did. This puts us in a unique relationship. We were able to talk to each other about things that so many others have no ability to understand or talk about. He was cremated so we are going to have somewhat of a different type of service for him, as he wanted. We are still going to do a 21-gun salute and have TAPS played, as he deserves it and we believe he would have wanted it. I just hope that I do him justice and come up with the right words to say to remember someone who signed on the dotted line and meant so much to so many.