Texas Standard collected the memories of veterans across the state for Memorial Day 2015.
Rick Schumacher, who enlisted in 1994, was a psychological operative in Iraq in 2002 and 2003.
“The impetus for me actually enlisting was self-preservation,” he says. “I’m one of those soldiers that has nowhere else to go, fairly poor family life – growing up, not a whole lot of money. The Army was the opportunity I had to make something for myself and get me out of a bad situation.”
Memorial Day, he says, is to remember fallen soldiers. He has lost three military friends: two died in combat and one committed suicide.
“Memorial Day is more to remember fallen soldiers and servicemen – not injured people or people who have just been in combat… people who are gone, for whatever reason,” he says. “It’s a day to remember them.”