May 27, 2014 1:23 AM by Maddie Garrett
For any Gold Star family, those who lost a child while active duty in the military, Memorial Day isn't just once a year, but every day. This year, Gold Star mom Scoti Domeij isn't just honoring her son who died in Afghanistan, but all service men and women who died serving our country.
"My son was deployed 14 times," said Domeij.
Her son, Kristoffer Domeij, served from 2001 to 2011, when he was killed in October. Since then, Scoti is learning more Kristoffer and his service from those who knew him in the field.
"They all talked about how incredible my son was," she said.
An Army Ranger, he was one of the first Army JTAC's, a Joint Terminal Attack Commander. He received several awards, including two Bronze Star Medals during his service, and another Bronze Star and Purple Heart after he was killed in combat.
"The guys felt safe with him outside the wire because he was the one who protected them," Scoti explained.
But on an October night in Kandahar, his mission was to capture a high profile criminal, known to be building many deadly improvised explosive devices (IED's). It was also a mission Kristoffer wasn't supposed to be on.
"They were two men short so his particular specialty as a JTAC was needed," recalled Scoti.
It was the last mission Kristoffer would go on.
"The place was booby trapped and Kristoffer along with two others were killed that night by a victim activated IED," said Scoti.
She said she will remember that night forever.
"The military men came and knocked on my door, there was a verse that comforted me, is that God numbers our days," she told News 5.
Scoti said she doesn't ask why her son was taken from her and his family at only 29 years old, but like other Gold Star moms, the pain will never go away.
"You never get over your child's death, you move through the grieving process," she explained.
Losing her son, she now feels the loss for any man or woman killed while serving our country.
"I now the know the loss to the family, the incredible devastation and pain, but also they served our country to give us freedom," said Scoti.
And it's not just those killed in combat she honors. She reminds people to remember others who died while active duty, including those who suffer the invisible wounds of war and accomplish suicide.
"Others who die in car accidents, training accidents, they die of natural causes, but they all died in service to our country," she said.
For Scoti, Memorial Day has a new meaning than it did before her son was killed. And now she hopes others will understand what it's all about.
"If we can honor them, just take a few minutes to honor them and thank them that's what Memorial Day is all about," said Scoti.