Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial provides reality check - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Texas Fallen Heroes Memorial provides reality check

By Donna McCollum

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Peace officers respectfully welcomed the Texas Fallen Heores Memorial to Nacogdoches County. The escort on Highway 59 and right into Nacogdoches alerted East Texans the traveling exhibit is now here. The eight panel display is now set up at the Fredonia hotel. It will be on display until June 13th at the conclusion of the annual Military Order of the Purple Heart Convention which begins June 11. The display is free and open to the public.

The Military Order of the Purple Heart got it here. "It's the Iraq Afghanistan war that we've had and all of our people that are on the wall right now is from the state of Texas," explained John Footman, senior vice president of the Texas chapter. East Texans on the board include Specialist Joseph Suell of Lufkin and Private First Class Travis W. Buford of Nacogdoches.

The visits create poignant moments. " Tears", said Jack Palmer, commander of the Centex chapter in Killeen. "You see a lot of them. (People saying), I know that person. Or my son went to school with that person. So it's, yeah, it's pretty moving."

Observers are often surprised to learn so many Texans have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2001 over 400 and still counting. There's the officer from Center. Another from Carthage. And one from Lovelady. Their futures cut short. "There are communities that don't have a military influence and so when they see this they start realizing that what they're seeing on the news is real. That we have a generation of people we're losing," commented Palmer.

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