Edie Deyarmin wants to honor all men and women who served their country — not just those like her own son who died in battle.
So for the past three years, the Honor Wall that is put up at a fundraising benefit in memory of her son has grown to 75 feet long. She hopes that the wall will just keep growing.
Her son, Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Nathan Deyarmin, Jr., 22, was killed in Iraq in August 2005.
The Deyarmin family of Tallmadge and the nonprofit foundation it created in honor of the fallen Marine will host its annual poker run and car and truck show June 9 at Tallmadge Middle School.
About $180,000 has been raised so far and all the money is used to help veterans and their families.
Three years ago, after hearing from JayAnn Brooks, whose brother, Army Cpl. Richard Morgan, 21, was killed in Vietnam in April 1971, she displayed a photo of Morgan and a story about him at the June fundraiser.
Since then, pictures of service members have been added to the wall and features photos of about 100 service members and veterans.
She expects to extend the roll-up wall of photos by 25 feet or more if she gets enough photographs.
Photos, ranging in size from 4 inches by 6 inches up to 8 by 10, of service members in uniform can be sent to Deyarmin until May 25 to be added to the wall.
Deyarmin, 50, a Tallmadge school bus driver, said the point is to honor all veterans and those who are serving, not just those who died in battle.
“My son is a known hero,” she said. “But there are many who serve and they come back and they are forgotten. It makes me feel guilty sometimes. He gets the recognition because he is fallen but there are many who served and they saw the same things Nathan did and experienced and lived and they have survivor’s guilt and PTSD.”
Anyone who served, be it in war time or peace time, she said, “are still special heroes.”
Send photos and stories to: 488 N. Munroe Road, Tallmadge, OH 44278.
For more on the fundraising event, go to www.dndfund.org.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.