Danny Jordan stares at the memorial bearing his son's name and remembers.
"We were very close. He never failed to write or call," says the elder Jordan.
As he recalls the past with Sgt. Jason Jordan who was just 24, Mr. Jordan is fully aware that Congress wants to beef up life insurance for the families of fallen soldiers. A nice gesture for spouses, but for Danny Jordan, it's meaningless.
"No amount of money will ever bring my son back," says Jordan.
That's why in a way the newly unveiled memorial Friday morning at the Veterans Memorial Park in Elba means so much more, especially to Gregg Garvey. Garvey's son, Justin, died in the same ambush that killed Jordan in July 2003. Garvey is the one who designed the memorial that has a concrete base with a M-16 on top. He also designed a special flag that's flying beneath the American flag at the park.
"I came up with the idea on the night of my son's funeral," says Garvey.
So angry and confused over losing Justin, Garvey knew he had to find a way to channel his emotions. Garvey's creation is his way of honoring a sacrifice made so far away.
Garvey says he's gotten at least 100 inquiries from families in other states about his first-ever design of a war memorial. He says his creation is the first memorial in the country that honors servicemen and women who've been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. For Danny Jordan, the tribute crystalizes Jason's courage even more.
"We knew what he stood for," Jordan says.
Gregg Garvey has an idea of what his son would say about his work. Justin would be surprised but proud.
"He would say, thanks Dad. Good job," Garvey says as he chokes back tears.
Now that Sgt. Jason Jordan has his place in Veterans Memorial Park in Elba, Garvey is about to leave to build one just like it in Vermont. That's where he'll honor Justin on Memorial Day.