I married into the Herrick family when I was active-duty Air Force. I came from from a family with no patriotism or military heritage, who didn’t celebrate military service, and legally joined a family of blue-blooded Americans who served God, family, and country.
When I learned about Uncle Jim, his service, and the way he is remembered in my now-family, I was in awe. That awe quickly turned into a deep, abiding love for all the men and women in this family — blood or otherwise! — who carry on his legacy.
Even though we never knew Uncle Jim, I feel the kinship of being both his sister-in-arms and niece by marriage. My heart aches for our grandparents and roughly 16 other aunts and uncles who knew him and miss him so dearly.
John and I named our son after Uncle Jim, knowing that long after his generation passes we will raise a new generation to revere the way he served. We want our son to be the kind of patriot, warrior, hero, and man of faith that Uncle Jim was.
I feel so privileged to be a Herrick. I couldn’t love or miss Uncle Jim any more if I was his blood relative and had grown up with him bouncing me on his knee telling me stories. I hope and pray that he is found and repatriated one day soon. He deserves it, his mama deserves it, his sister and 7 brothers and their wives deserve it. America deserves it, too.
USAF Capt. James W. Herrick ~ gone but not forgotten 10/27/69. 🇺🇸
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13