Marine father and son honor fallen on Memorial Day, remember lost friends

Posted at 11:19 AM, May 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 08:20:33-04

Nicholas Waltrip grew up with the desire to serve in his blood. His grandfather was in the military, father was a Marine, and Waltrip followed in those footsteps.

It spread through his family. He has three sisters, one who's in the Army, currently serving. Waltrip's 10-year-old son is in the Young Marines, serving his third year.

"For me, it was the history of the Marine Corps. There's a lot of history, a lot of people fought and died for this country, and I'm very proud of that," Waltrip said somberly.

The United States Marines was created to fight during the Revolutionary War from the water.

Waltrip served for 14 years, and experienced the horrors of war. While in Iraq in 2003, he saw eight brothers in arms die on the front lines.

The tour was January to October, and Waltrip shared regimented answers to a story vividly living in his memory.

"Memorial Day is very special to me because the service members have fought and fallen for this country and we still have to give them our respect,"Waltrip said.

To Waltrip, Memorial Day, is every day.

For their third year, Waltrip and his son will honor the day by placing flags at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens with the Young Marines.

Nicholas Jr. said he joined the Young Marines to be like his father and says it's important to serve your country, "I feel like if people weren't here to serve it, a lot of things wouldn't be here today."

Things like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

On Monday Waltrip asks for others to show their respect, saying the fallen deserve to be honored for their sacrifice, that he's seen first hand.