COLORADO SPRINGS — Every year we honor all of the service men and women who have fallen, both during and after combat.
Many families and friends, who too soon, have had to put their loved one's to rest.
Debra and Joe Rowland, both veterans, say they always knew what Memorial Day meant, but the day took on a whole new meaning after their son passed away.
Christopher Rowland served in Operation Iraqi Freedom for 15 months before he returned home to Fort Carson in 2009.
It was six months after his return when one morning Debra says he never woke up again.
In all three autopsies nothing was ever found.
Debra says she is almost certain of what caused her son's death.
The burn pits in Iraq.
Monday is not a day of celebration, but a day of honor, and Debra wants others to understand the true meaning behind the day.
"All these men and women that have died, who haven't been combat related ,are still a casualty of this war," said Debra.
So no matter the cause of death, the loss is the same.
Honoring all service members, and remembering a legacy that will last forever.
"He said bye mom, I love you, and I said I love you and that was his last words, and I am going to hang onto that," said Debra.