As Memorial Day approaches, I think of the many brave men and women who have given their lives for our country. One special veteran who comes to mind often is Rick Koss of Catlin.
In 1968, Rick was with the Marines at Khe Sanh, Vietnam. The same time I was in the Hobo Woods, South Vietnam, with the 25th Infantry Army Manchus.
Rick and I later met at the General Motors plant in Tilton and became lifelong friends. We were charter members of the U.A.W. Region 4 Veterans Association and later helped form the veterans chapter at our 579 Local Union.
Rick was proud of his Marine service and cherished the time spent as a volunteer at the Danville Veterans Affairs medical centerA. His whole life revolved around helping veterans and the love and support for his family.
Rick passed on in May of 2010 as the result of cancer caused by Agent Orange. Although Rick was wounded several times, he never gave up his Marine spirit. Together, we tried to re-enlist in the service when the Gulf War broke out. Although we were turned down because of our age, our hearts were with our fellow soldiers who served.
So, on Memorial Day, we must honor and remember the many men and women who gave their lives for this great nation. For without their sacrifices, all would be lost.