©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Gathering to Honor Local Heroes
|The mother of the first Knox County soldier who lost his life while serving his country in the current wars on terror says she knows her son would have had a good time at an event wrapping up Sunday at the Knox County Fairgrounds.
Nita Cross is the mother of Sergeant First Class Kyle Wehrly, one of a number of Gold Star families and others who attended the first open Gathering of the Guard -- the annual get-together of the Illinois chapter of the Patriot Guard riders.
The Gathering featured live entertainment and fundraising, along with a memorial dedicated to all the fallen Illinois soldiers, and an area for displays put together by those Gold Star families.
Cross tells WGIL she's had the chance to really talk to some of those other families this weekend.
"I find out that they have the same feelings that I do -- the hurts," Cross said. "It's a healing thing in its own to know others are just like me, going through the same thing."
Wehrly's unit -- the 2nd Battalion, 123rd Field Artillery is currently on a year-long deployment to Egypt, and Cross tells WGIL that's on her mind.
"I'm concerned that the wives and the mothers of the soldiers that are deployed are still making it through," Cross said. "I remember those days myself."
Cross says Kyle was the type of person who put other soldiers' needs in front of his own, so she says she feels it necessary to make sure that his extended family is okay.
Cross said the Patriot Guard has been very helpful to her. "I have gotten such close-knit friends -- friends that would bend over backwards for me, and I would bend over backwards for them also," Cross said. "It's just a lasting thing that you cannot put words to, that the bonds will always be there."
It will be the fifth anniversary of Wehrly's death in November.
(Visitors look at a display in "Remembrance Hall" of fallen local soldiers.)
(The display for Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jerry Tharp.)
(A motorcycle dedicated to Prisoners of War was on display.)
(A POW/MIA Table was set up.)
(More of the POW/MIA Display. WGIL News Story and Photos by Will Stevenson.)
Find more pictures and another story from the Gathering of the Guard by CLICKING HERE.
|08 15 10 by Newsroom
Click here for the WGIL News Archive
Click here for national news
The following provision applies to all visitors (which shall include persons and representatives of legal entities, whether such representatives are persons or digital engines of a kind that crawls, indexes, scrapes, copies, stores or transmits digital content). By accessing this Web site or digital service, you specifically acknowledge and agree that: (i) Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium; (ii) No Associated Press materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use; (iii) The Associated Press will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing; (iv) The Associated Press is an intended third party beneficiary of these terms and conditions and it may exercise all rights and remedies available to it; and (v) The Associated Press reserves the right to audit possible unauthorized commercial use of AP materials or any portion thereof at any time.