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Who are you remembering today? That’s the question we are asking for Memorial Day, which is the day set aside each spring to honor the men and woman killed in the nation’s wars. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson will have conversations on Monday’s show with two veterans who want to talk about their friends who died, one in Afghanistan, one in Iraq.
For myself and thousands of other veterans across this country, Memorial Day is every day.
Former Air Force Captain Joshua Carroll still wears a bracelet with the name Roslyn Schulte engraved on it. She was an Air Force lieutenant who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2009.
Roz, as she was known, was the first female U.S. Air Force Academy graduate to be killed in action in Iraq or Afghanistan. She was 25. For Josh, thinking about her on Memorial Day is not an isolated thing.
“For myself and thousands of other veterans across this country, Memorial Day is every day, ” he told Jeremy. “I certainly understand people wanting to partake in the festivities and cookouts, and I think in a way in the bigger picture, the people who put themselves in harms way like Roz did, they did that so we can continue on with our lives and do those things.”
Andrew Slater served three tours of duty in Iraq as an Army officer. His best friend Army Captain Ben Tiffner deployed there on his second tour in 2007 just before Andrew did.
“I thought I was just going to see him again,” Andrew said. But that never happened. Captain Tiffner was killed just two weeks after he arrived in Iraq. “He was crossing a bridge when his truck was struck by a bomb. I believe he was killed instantly.” Benjamin Tiffner was 31. He’s buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:
As we head into the holiday weekend, let's talk about the holiday itself, Memorial Day. It is a day for remembering the men and women killed in the nation's wars. Former Air Force Captain Joshua Carroll's friend, Air Force lieutenant Roslyn Schulte was killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Afghanistan in 2009. Josh tells us he will be thinking about her on Monday.
JOSHUA CARROLL: I certainly understand people wanting to partake in the festivities and the cookouts. And I think, in a way, in a bigger picture, the people who put themselves in harm's way, like Roz did, they did that so that we can kind of continue on with our lives and do those things.
HOBSON: Andrew Slater put himself in harm's way. He survived three tours of duty in Iraq as an army officer. His best friend, Army Captain Benjamin Tiffner did not. Ben was killed by a roadside bomb in 2007, just two weeks into his second tour.
ANDREW SLATER: Ben was the kind of officer that made other officers feel very guilty, 'cause he was so focused, he was so dedicated. He was a quiet professional. And he took care of his soldiers. His guys loved him.
HOBSON: So tell us who you will be remembering on Memorial Day. You can let us know at our Facebook page, facebook.com/hereandnowradio or you can go to our website, hereandnow.org.
This is HERE AND NOW. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.