Honor your hero with thoughts, memories, images and stories.
My brother Rich was the most caring, thoughtful, fun-loving person I've ever known. Though we grew up in separate households, and therefor couldn't see each other whenever we liked, I have many memories of him which I will always cherish. Family road trips with our dad to Houston, TX, San Antonio, TX, through New Mexico and to Arizona. At the State Fair of Texas he would sit with me in the cool cars and ask me "where to?" At a Mexican restaurant on the River Walk in San Antonio, we donned the red cloth napkins as bandannas on our faces and posed for a picture as banditos. We sang along to Creed in the car, and meditated to Incubus in his room at our father's apartment. We always joked that he owed me an Aaron Carter CD since he had lost mine in Dad's car door while holding it out the window. He was the kind of guy who played guitar and once had dreadlocks. Though he eventually shaved his head and removed his tongue ring to join the Army, he always had that same spirit. He was a young man who loved life, his family, his wife, and his son, whom he never met. In letters from those he worked with in the Army, he was remembered as a hard worker who would fill sandbags with a smile. Rich, it's so hard, even now, to believe that you're gone. How a light so bright could be extinguished is beyond me. But I promise you will always live on in my memories. Your school picture hangs in the hallway with my other family photos, and your dog tag is hung proudly in my home. Wherever you both are, I hope you and Rich Jr both know you are deeply loved by me and by all of the Smith family. I promise to watch over Dad and give him all my love, as I know you would if you were here. I can only hope that one day we will all be reunited. Rest in peace, brother. I will love you always. Your sister, Megan Taylor Smith Mauk