On Saturday, several families of fallen heroes received a banner on their behalf at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay was there during the special ceremony and introduces us to one of the family members that received a banner.
“Growing up, I was always compared to my father,” Scott Young, the son of fallen hero Ronald Lee Young told News Channel 3 on Saturday.
Ronald Lee Young was drafted into the United States Army to serve in the Vietnam War.
“He didn’t believe in the Vietnam War but because he was a patriot, he served when he was drafted into the war,” Scott shared.
Scott never knew his father who died while helping evacuate other wounded soldiers in an artillery strike. Scott was just two-years-old at the time.
“He could leave service early or spend a week with me and my mother in Hawaii and he chose to get out of the service early and during the week he would’ve been in Hawaii with me and my mother he died on my mother’s birthday,” Scott said.
Noted as the reluctant warrior; Ronald is one of the local fallen heroes honored with a banner at the Palm Springs Air Museum.
“These guys were being lost in history," Lee Wilson Jr. told News Channel 3. Wilson is the founder of the Fallen Heroes Banner Project. He's also a World and U.S. History teacher at Cathedral City High School and the historian for the Palm Springs American Legion.
"A lot of people didn’t know who they were so I spent my last few summers doing research and tracking down and I came up with the 27 local, 16 from World War II, one from Korea, eight from Vietnam, plus two who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and we created the Palm Springs Fallen Hero Display," Wilson said.
“It’s our pleasure and honor to be able to continue to do this so people can understand the sacrifice that families have made,” the Vice Chairman of the Palm Springs Air Museum, Fred Bell told News Channel 3.
Ronald Lee Young was a graduate in the class of 1967 from Palm Springs High School.
“They were always saying I was like my father and he was creative. I’m creative. My mom was more of a jock. My dad played the piano. He did theater,” Scott said.
Scott also said it took him a while before he realized how much he missed knowing his father.
“It was always weird to me to be compared to someone you didn’t know and because he died when I was so young I was kind of dismissive," he shared. "People would say, ‘I’m sorry for your loss,’ and I would say don’t be, it’s okay, I never knew him. It wasn’t until I went to the Vietnam Memorial Museum and saw the power of that monument that it hit me why I should be sorry that all I’ve missed out on by not having him in my life. It didn’t really hit me until I was 20 years old,” he added.
The banners will be installed on Veteran’s Day and displayed in the Palm Springs Air Museum parking lot.