© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Military & Veterans' Issues

County Commissioners Pause To Honor Local Fallen War Heroes

Eileen Pace

Bexar County commissioners took time out of their business agenda Tuesday for a special remembrance of war casualties from the local community. The county honored the fallen soldiers with a video commemoration for Memorial Day.

Family members, wives and mothers joined local veterans in a video remembrance of the lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last two decades, something which Cheryl Lankford said she must do even if it’s hard.

"We have to raise awareness to let people who have not experienced this loss know that Memorial Day is more than just a picnic," Lankford said. "But it's a time to honor those people who protected the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted. We want to make sure that they understand that we value their life's work."

Lankford lost her husband, Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Lankford, who died while serving in Iraq with the 79th Ordnance Battalion out of Fort Sam Houston.

"He was an E-9 Command sergeant major and he served in the military for 23 years," Lankford said.

Kimberly Rairdan said it’s hard for her too, but she has come to this event every year for eight years, since she lost her 20-year-old son in the war.

"I'm here in honor of my son, Lance Cpl. Ronald Dane Rairdan. He was killed January 26, 2005, in Iraq. He was a Marine," Rairdan said. 

The Department of Defense reported this week that 2,182 military members have died as a result of the fighting in Afghanistan. According to a count by the San Antonio Express-News, 195 members of the military from the South and Central Texas area have lost their lives.