My dear friend, Tamara Henkes,
lost her brother on Sunday, September 3rd of 2006.
Richard J. Henkes, II, died in Mosul, Iraq
serving his country with pride.
"He loved what he was doing,
and he was very, very good at what he did.
It's what he knew and believed in."
"He believed in serving his country and
that would have a positive effect.
He believed he was doing something
for the greater good."
"...Always the jokester...
But be could also be very quiet.
He was very serious about what he was doing for a living.
He was a very caring and compassionate person."
Rich was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
"Rich always knew he wanted to be a soldier and believed in the mission in Iraq."
Rich grew up in Oregon and graduated from Clackamas High School in 1992 where he wrestled, ran track and was involved in band. He enlisted in the U.S. Army immediately after graduation.
Gwen Kalvelage, a friend of the Henkes family, visited this memorial in Salem, Oregon. She granted me permission to use these photos.
Often, siblings are "the forgotten mourners." Their grief often pushed to the side or discounted in preference to parents, spouses or children.
My small gesture... to comfort my friend, to honor her brother... and to never forget the sacrifice made by our military.
Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life
for his friends. John 15:13 KJV