I usually like to stop by the veterans' memorials near the Capitol on the day after Memorial Day. I stop to read all the names (yeah, every one) and see what people left behind.
As usual, the Vietnam memorial was filled with heart-tugging mementos that make me wonder about the story behind the object.
Who was Gary? And why a chocolate bar? (Update Weds 5/28 8:24 a.m. - See comments section)
This sketch was accompanied by an Army Ranger pin from Georgia, and a padlock. Why?
Tom is "greatly missed, forever loved" the label said...
A simple sticker next to a name...
In contrast to the day-after scene at the Vietnam memorial that says "we haven't forgotten...
The scene at the Korean War memorial seems to say, "we have..."
... with the exception of someone who knew Douglas Dustin, an 18 year old kid who died of his wounds in 1950.
Mr. Dustin's name appeared in the middle of the large block of granite. But whoever left the picture, put it on the top so it wouldn't cover anyone else's name.
To answer your question, Gary is Gary McCue from Belle Plaine. He was the brother of my fabulous mother-in-law Jean McCue and her 4 other siblings: Mike, Pat, Jan and Shelli.
Jean usually goes to the Memorial and leaves something because as she once told me, "It's the only thing I can do for him now." And Jean is a do-er from a family of do-ers who miss their brother every day.
I found a few more things about Gary. There's a nice tribute here, which was written last year