Cross-Country Trek Honoring Our Fallen
While I was attending the F-35B media day at MCAS Yuma on 5-9-2013, Photorecon had the distinct honor to meet Joe “Tiger” Patrick II. Patrick is a veteran of Desert Storm and he has embarked on a journey to honor the men and women who have lost their lives during the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. His trek started on April 27th 2013 at Coronado Beach in San Diego, CA. While carrying a memorial banner in tow “Tiger” set off on his journey.
The banner bears the photos of the more than 6,655 deceased soldiers and is folded into a large duffel bag and carried on his back. Patrick has displayed the banner at select stops along the way, he plans to stop in towns with military bases in hopes of meeting the friends and families of some of the soldiers pictured on the banner.
As Patrick put it, he felt compelled to do something to honor the fallen men and women who have kept us safe at home during the War on Terror. “I feel sadness that another generation is fighting a war that we probably should have finished back in my time of service, and I feel a little responsible. Since I couldn’t have their back in combat, I will certainly have them on my back while taking them across the country. They deserve recognition.”
Of those pictured on the banner, 4,000 were married, half were parents, 200 were expectant parents, 27 were single moms, one in five were under 22 years old and one in six were teenagers. Patrick noted he needs to update the banner again as another nine service members have been killed since he started his walk, bringing the total of fallen service members to 6,664.
Along the way Patrick is staying at local fire stations , VFW posts and American Legions for his overnight rest. His journey should take about 6 months to complete ending at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Patrick requested that we all sign the back of the banner to show our support, what an honor it was to meet this true American and to be asked to sign the banner. This banner will no doubt become a nation treasure and should always be looked upon with respect and honor.
Lest We Forget: All Gave Some — Some Gave All.
Please take a moment to remember them not only on Memorial Day weekend but always.
Follow Joe “Tiger” Patrick on his facebook site. https://www.facebook.com/FacesOfOurFallen