Tom Manion: I’m the father of a fallen Marine. It’s service that has kept my son Travis' spirit alive

On Father’s Day, parents can’t help but think about all that goes into raising kids. The highs and the lows. The happy times, and the sad ones. The moments of joy, and the moments of disappointment.

The point is that the wild ride that is parenting, packed with the widest range of emotions and experiences, makes our children who they are; it forms their character. And for us, the parents, seeing our kids stand up and walk into the world on their own makes all of the hard work and sacrifice worthwhile.


My wife and I raised our two children while I served on active duty in the Marine Corps. Being a military family had its challenges. Yet my only son, Travis, decided to follow in my footsteps and become a Marine.

It’s hard to describe the amount of pride I felt when I watched him commission on May 28, 2004. And it’s even harder to describe the pain when I found out that he was killed while serving in Iraq on April 29, 2007.

Although Travis was just 26-years-old when an enemy sniper’s bullet took him from

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