ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Every year since 2009, 'Tribute To Fallen Soldiers Northwest,' out of Oregon, makes a trek across the country, stopping to honor fallen soldiers and their families on their way to Arlington National Cemetery.
Army Specialist Brian "Bucky" Anderson
On Monday, their journey led them to Broadway High School in Broadway, Virginia.
"Fifteen different states, with 53 fallen heroes we're visiting," said Warren Williamson, executive director of Tribute to Fallen Soldiers Northwest.
It's a journey of more than 3,600 miles to deliver a simple message.
"It brings such warmth to us to know we have a tangible effect on these families," said Williamson. "You can see it in their faces when we show up. There's already tears because they think that their fallen hero has been forgotten."
Presenting the family of Army Specialist Brian "Bucky" Anderson with a plaque and picture, they help to calm the worst fear of any "Gold Star" family.
"The worst possible case is you don't want your loved ones forgotten, and to know that somebody thousands of miles away could come into Broadway, Virginia, and honor Bucky," said Brian's mom, Margaret Anderson.
They're doing the same for 52 other families, living without someone they love.
"I miss him so much! If I could just get one more hug and just hear him call me mom again," said Anderson.
"We're going to continue to do this until we can't do it anymore," said Williamson.
The group will arrive at Arlington National Cemetery Wednesday and will ring the bell in honor of all 53 fallen soldiers.