On July 11th, 2012, my family brought the ashes of my grandfather, Brigadier General Ernest Paul Braucher, to West Point. It is the place he considered his home, where his life of service began. My grandfather was at his very best, and his most authentic self, in Army green doing what he considered to be truly important work.
Among his many citations and decorations were the Silver Star Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, and the Joint Service Commendation Medal. My grandfather wrote, “my review of the past fifty years confirms for me my great good fortune: for Brookes, my sweetheart, my wife, my best friend; for our beloved children; for our five grandchildren; for the priceless blessings of American citizenship; for the opportunity to serve our Nation; for the West Point experience and for the warm and lasting bonds of friendship with those who shared it with us.”
My grandfather was lucky enough to live a long, full life. His brother, who was KIA during my grandfather’s last year at West Point, was not. Today, we are still losing young service members in battle and it is absolutely essential that we honor their memory by taking care of our nation’s veterans.
I am proud to have a grandfather like mine and I am lucky to know as many brave servicemen and women as I do. The more I have become involved with Team RWB, the more I appreciate and understand the sacrifices that our military members make for our nation. On Memorial Day we honor those who have paid the ultimate price. Let us never forget the men and women who died bravely while fighting for our freedom.