yellow and red marigold petals

According to fellow soldiers, Chris Farlekas took risks that seemed beyond the call of duty. And when there was nothing more to be done for a dying comrade, he found one more thing to do – take down his final words for his family. Sometimes it was forgiveness pleaded, sometimes forgiveness owed. He heard memories of swings in haylofts, moms’ Sunday dinners, girls left behind, children that might have been. He kept them all, scrawled in a journal, to be delivered on his return – if he ever did return. When he closed the book, he held the hand of the man whose words he’d written down, until the man was gone.

In the next years he kept his promises to the boys who didn’t return. He traveled over fifteen thousand miles to visit their families.