This Memorial Day, Yahoo News invited family and friends of American service members who died during military service to share memories and photos of them. Here's one story.
FIRST PERSON | When my Great Aunt Ada Strausbaugh passed away on March 19, 2011, I learned that she was married to Clarence Reed before she married my Uncle Clovis. I don't think this was a family secret; it was just something that no one talked about anymore.
Aunt Ada and Clarence were married on April 17, 1944, in Gallipolis, Ohio. Clarence, who was from Dexter, Ohio, joined the Army and was stationed in France during World War II. He didn't survive the war and died on April 7, 1945, less than a year after Ada and Clarence married.
They had no children together, and my aunt had no children in her second marriage. Since my grandmother was her closest relative, and my mother is already passed away, I inherited a large box of pictures and memorabilia after my aunt's death. Among those items, I found the marriage license, death notice, pictures and letters that Ada and Clarence mailed back and forth to each other as well as supporting documents for the Purple Heart that Clarence received posthumously and which was presented to Ada. She was buried with Clarence's Purple Heart.
It was quite a shock to me that not only was Ada married before, but she was married to a soldier who died serving his country. It pains me to know that on Memorial Day almost 70 years after his death, I may be the only one left honoring his memory. I've tried to find distant relatives on his side of the family to no avail. So this year, and from now on, I will honor my Great Uncle Clarence Reed, who served his country and gave his life during World War II.
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