Each Memorial Day, it’s not uncommon for Steven Sherman, MSG, USA (RET) to reach out to old United States Army buddies. Together, the army friends reminisce and swap stories about the soldiers they knew who lost their lives during Steven’s 24 years in the armed forces.
“Memorial Day is reflective for me,” he said. “I call a friend or two and talk about the memories we have of those who didn’t make it. We share that and reminisce.”
Stationed in Korea and various cities across the United States during his military career, Steven spent his 96 months of combat duty in Afghanistan, Iraq and Africa. When asked how many friends he lost during his time in the armed forces, the Keller, Texas resident says he chooses not to count.
“I really can’t even give a number,” Steven said. “I remember in one day, we lost 28 people once. I just don’t try to count how many people I lost altogether.”
Steven is a Project Manager for the CHRISTUS Health’s US Family Health Plan – a regional TRICARE Prime military health plan sponsored by the Department of Defense (DOD). The continued association with the military comes as no surprise as the Harlingen, Texas native came from a family of military men and at even an early age, Steven knew he was destined to join the armed forces.
“I was 19 years old when I joined the United States Army and it was something I always knew I wanted to do. I attended a military high school,” he said. “My entire family was military going all the way back to the Revolution.”
As he spends time with his own family on Memorial Day since retiring from the U.S. Army three years ago, Steven also often reaches out to the families of those friends and soldiers lost in war.
“Some of my friends who did not make it back, I still contact their families and send emails to let them know that they those who didn’t make it may be gone but they are not forgotten. I like to check on their families and just see how they are doing,” he said.
It’s important to remember those fallen soldiers, Steven noted, as they gave the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for each one of us.
“Those are the people who are truly heroes – the ones who were called to service, went out there, went above and beyond and sacrificed their lives so everyone else can maintain the lifestyle that we like. They gave all that they could and then some,” he said. “As long as we can remember them and honor them, then a small part of them is still alive through us.”
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States. It is a time for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. It is a special time for many veterans to remember and honor friends, family and comrades who served and remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and died for their country.