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Sometimes We Just Never Know Why

Paul "Bulldog" Ramirez serves as honor guard WAA 2008

Kampha Sourivong

It took me a while to convince myself to write this. We in the military meet a lot of people and unless you are really good at remembering names you just take the faces and conversations with you.

Let me start in the middle somewhere. In 2008 I volunteered myself, some members of the Combat Vets Motorcycle Association, and some of those from the American Legion riders to participate in the Wreaths Across America in Iowa City. I was informed that we would be carrying flags and setting an honor guard around a specific grave. This young man’s parents were going to place his wreath and we wanted to make it as special for them as possible. That young man was Sgt. Kampha Sourivong. When all was over I remembered the name but had never put it together with a face. I would see his parent’s a couple of times after this. I would usually say hello, figuring they didn’t know who I was but I said hello anyway.

After my second WAA in 2009 I received an email from Le Ann Tyson, the coordinator in Iowa City. asking for our stories. I decided that I wanted to look up one of the people whose wreath I had laid. I picked Kampha’s story to research. When I went out on the internet I found an obituary with a photo. The first thought that went through my mind was “That guy looks familiar”. I then found another article that described him in more detail and what unit he was with. I realized that I knew him from Al Asad, Iraq. I was stationed there to do convoy support with a different unit. Once we realized there were some Iowa boys in town we started hanging out and talking to them. This was where I met Kampha. I am not good with names so along with the other one hundred people I met his name was stored away. The instant I realized who I was looking at I could remember him.

This experience has been a little difficult but I am writing this so that all of you who participate realize how important it is to research a name each year. You may be surprised at how close you come to someone else’s life.

For those of you who have never participated, this could be one of the most rewarding events you ever join.

As a veteran, I can tell you that your efforts do not go unnoticed.
I am part of the Iowa Military Honors program.
Iraq 2006
We do military funerals for our passed brothers and sisters. I know how important it is for the families to see that their husband/wife, father/mother, daughter or son has not been forgotten. To those who have helped, I thank you. For those who haven’t I will say please consider helping. I promise you will take more with than you leave as you place a wreath to remember an Iowa hero.

One Response

  1. This is an amazing story. It is hard to imagine how people’s paths cross in life. God bless the Sourivong Family and God Bless Bulldog Ramirez.

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