CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A family member asked me to attend Monday's military graveside service of their fallen hero.
Raymond Cordova died on November 18, at the age of 66.
Far too young to die, you might say as you send your condolences to the family. I understand this hero suffered from serious injuries sustained during war.
So perhaps, one would suggest he is now in a better place now. I can tell you - his family, those who he mentored, and his dear friends miss him terribly. I could see it in their faces today during his at the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery.
Please keep this in mind every time you hear or the death of a brave veteran like Raymond Cordova. The war returns home with them. All of the horrors - come home.
After covering so many military funerals and numerous veteran's stories, this I know to be true.
Most combat veterans don't want you to feel sorry for them for the enduring pain that they must suffer after they return home from the battlefield. They mostly just want you to respect and understand - and see them.
As a U.S.Marine, Raymond Cordova proudly served his country.
He served in Vietnam. His widow, Amelia, told me her husband stepped on a land mine and returned home, like so many combat veterans, a different person. Much different.
Cordova had to relearn how to talk. Amelia said he was homeless at one time and lacked higher education. Still, he managed to find work at Reynolds just to ensure his family survived.
Amelia said Raymond was much more than a great husband, and father.
He was her hero. And ours too.
Contact Veterans In Focus reporter Pat Simon at email@example.com