Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 8th 2015 Contents A19
November 8, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Premiere: MEMORIAL DAY
Wednesday November 11th, 8pm
The Parliament Channel
P RLIAM NT
REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Episode 1: Wednesday 11th November, 2015
Episode 2: Saturday 21st November, 2015
Episode 3: Saturday 28th November, 2015
Episode 4: Saturday 2nd December, 2015
Born to serve.
That s how Major Lawrence Wilson
remembers his deceased son, 18-year-
old Private First Class (PFC) LeRon A
Wilson, who last served in the US Mil-
itary "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in
Baghdad, in 2007. LeRon was killed
while on duty on July 6, 2007.
Recounting the phone call when his
son announced he wanted to join the
US Military, the older Wilson said he
interrogated LeRon hoping that his son
would change his mind about serving
in the military. But to no avail, Wilson
said his son stood his ground and
maintained that serving in the military
was his destiny. Like most parents,
Wilson eventually showered support
for his son s career path.
LeRon left T&T s shores at age 11
to attend school in Queens, New York,
and instead of going to university at
age 17, he opted to serve in the US
Military. LeRon was not supposed to
be deployed to Iraq but he offered to
go on that mission, Wilson said.
"One week after (the phone con-
versation confirming his death), I flew
up to the States to talk to his recruiting
officer who indicated that his (LeRon s)
career path would not have taken him
to Iraq, Afghanistan or one of those
places. His career path would have
taken him differently. That arrange-
ment was not fixed, if there was an
emergency then he (LeRon) would be
called (to go Iraq)."
However, the older Wilson said he
was informed by US Military personnel
that it was his son s choice to go to
Iraq to serve. But before going there
he was supposed to visit T&T, but
time ran out.
"My family was trying to get him
down to T&T to surprise me for my
birthday which was May 7, 2007, but
his time for leave was so short
that he actually called me
(instead) and say dad, I was
going to come down to
surprise you, but I have
been posted to Iraq."
That telephone con-
versation would be the
last which Wilson had
with his son, his one and
the news of
phone call that
a parent does not
want to get, and
then the visit by US
authorities to the fam-
ily s home in the US. LeRon s
mom lives in New York and his
dad in T&T. The US army officials
first visited his mom and then came
personally to T&T to talk to his dad.
"There are many stories where (he
offered himself to serve), or he stood
down his counterparts because he felt
that he was more equipped than them.
Even the last mission he went on, there
was a note in his left arm pocket indi-
cating that he was a bit uncomfortable
with this mission, he wasn t feeling
settled, and if anything happened, his
mom should get his computer."
The emptiness from losing a child
is something which is undescribable,
said Wilson. But his grief is not unique
to families who have lost their loved
ones who were serving their country.
Apart from the memories which they
carry with them wherever they go,
Wilson, along with many others glob-
ally remember their loved ones annually
in May for the US Memorial Day and
in November in T&T for the obser-
vation of All Saints Day/All Souls Day.
While the response by the US Gov-
ernment to his son s death was delayed,
Wilson is satisfied that his son s act
of bravery was honoured quite well in
the US and in T&T, especially with
the funeral and memorial service. In
T&T, on July 6, 2007, a memorial serv-
ice was held at the All Saints Church
and following that, there was an
unveiling of a plaque on Marli Street
In loving memory...
LeRon Wilson was
born to serveby the US Embassy in Port-of-
The family also get continuous
support every year, Wilson said.
Now that his son s name has
been honoured by the US Gov-
ernment, Wilson asked the ques-
tion: why are members of the
T&T police service, army and
others who died serving country
are not honoured in a similar
fashion or even recognised?
He lamented that a policeman
dies in T&T and there is no sup-
port for the family after their loved
one has served country.
Wilson would like to see those
who serve T&T honoured by the
Deceased: 18-year-old Private First Class (PFC) LeRon Wilson.
Major Lawrence Wilson,
father of deceased
Private First Class (PFC)
LeRon A Wilson.
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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