Memorial Day gives us an opportunity to remember those who have died while serving in the U.S. military. We’ve put together a collection of Military Voices Initiative stories from veterans, service members, and their loved ones to help us reflect on their lives, contributions, and sacrifices. Listen to their voices below.

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The Last Viewing

In 2005, Allen Hoe’s oldest son, Nainoa, was killed in action in Iraq. Not long after on Memorial Day, he had a chance encounter with a stranger that brought them both unforeseen comfort.

“I would listen and then pray for their strength.”
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“I Took an Oath to Respond to the Needs of My Nation”

Army Major Ivan Arreguin, a military chaplain, tells his wife, Aileen, what it was like to provide medical support in New York City in April 2020, during the height of COVID-19.

“These folks have made the ultimate sacrifice and the least we can do is take care of them.”
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An Airline Worker Finds His Calling Honoring The Military’s Fallen

Brian McConnell, who’s been an airline worker for close to four decades, told his wife, Nora, about how he found his calling providing support to fallen service members with the Delta Honor Guard.

"He was talking about this feeling that he had that he was going to die."
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In Memory of Diego Rincon

George Rincon and Yolanda Reyes, remember their son, Army Private First Class Diego Rincon, who received U.S. citizenship after he was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2003.

1st Squad, 3rd Platoon

In 2005, Marine Lance Corporal Travis Williams and his squad went on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq. He was the only member of his team to make it back home.

The Nature of War

Specialist Justin Cliburn was deployed to Iraq in 2005. While serving in Baghdad, he formed a friendship with Ali and Ahmed, two boys who lived near his compound.

“I don't see him as a symbol. In some way that takes him away from me.”
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In Memory of Army Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman

Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman was the first American soldier killed in combat during the War in Afghanistan. His brother, Keith Chapman, and his mother Lynn honor Nathan’s memory.

“Because she was Asian, they wouldn’t accept her. Mom said she didn’t care; she enlisted anyway.”
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Remembering One Tough Veteran: Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy

Flip and Christine Cuddy remember their mother, Susan Ahn Cuddy, the first Asian American woman in the Navy and the first woman gunnery officer teaching air combat tactics.

Pearl Harbor, Tattooed on Your Soul

On December 7, 1941, over 2,000 people died when Japanese fighter planes attacked Pearl Harbor. On that day, Frank Curre, then a teenager, was serving aboard the U.S.S. Tennessee.

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