Remembering What Memorial Day Is All About

Monday is a special day.....Memorial Day is dedicated to our fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice.  For veterans, family and friends it is a cherished day of remembrance and celebration. Todd Johnson, Vice President of Operations, Caldwell Construction, is a West Point graduate who served two tours in Iraq as a commissioned officer in Army Aviation. He passed along the following note as a reminder of what Memorial Day is really all about and the significance of why we celebrate the day. Caldwell Companies says THANK YOU to all who have and continue to serve our country and a special prayer for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

I was reminded of the significance of Memorial Day as I stood at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for a wreath laying ceremony this month and saw the sea of white marble headstones.  A somber ceremony that touches even the toughest of hearts.  This Memorial Day, I wanted to pay special tribute to a teammate and friend of mine who was killed in action April 18th 2006.  Ian Weikel was a great leader with a great family when he was ordered to deploy Alpha Troop, 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment.  Ian and his wife Wendy had just had a son, Jonathan, when the call to duty came in, and without hesitation Ian knew what he had to do.  Below is a write up and link to a story about Ian, Wendy and Jonathan that originally ran in the Killeen Daily Herald.  Wendy’s words are exceptionally powerful and a reminder of the heavy burden military families carry.  So as you journey into this great AMERICAN Holiday, enjoy it to the fullest because someone you don’t even know cared enough to pay ultimate sacrifice so you can enjoy the fruits of freedom.  But, just for a moment while basking in glory of hot dogs, bbqs, lake adventures, camping trips, family visits, please pray for all of our fallen soldiers and more importantly those left behind without a spouse, parent, sibling, child…a loved one.

4th ID soldier died for freedom, family says 
By Emily Baker 
Courtesy of the Killeen Daily Herald

When Captain Ian Weikel deployed to Iraq late last year, he told his wife to look into their infant son's eyes when she misses him.

He told her that every time little Jonathan smiles at her, he would be smiling at her, too.

Jonathan looks just like his father, a man whose tenderness is obvious through photographs of him gingerly cradling the infant.

The last time Ian saw his son was through a Webcam. His wife, Wendy, would lay with little Jonathan in front of the computer, and Ian would watch.

Now, Ian gets to watch his son and smile at his wife from above.