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A Rochester community remembers a fallen soldier

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A Rochester man who paid the ultimate price was membered on Thursday.

About 30 people gathered at a northeast Rochester home to honor Army Spc. Travis Bruce, a 22-year-old man who died while serving in Iraq in 2005.

Bruce was the first person from Rochester killed in that war.

"Travis was very special to both of us. We love and miss him," said Kenneth Bruce, Travis's father.

"People loved him. He was a good kid," said Victoria, Travis's mother.
"The last time he was home. Him and I, we were talking. We were driving in the car and he says to me. He says, 'Mom, I'm not going to be back. This is the last time you'll see me.' And I said, 'don't say that. I said no it won't.' And he said, 'yeah I don't think I'm coming back.' And how he knew that, I don't know. But somehow he just like knew something was going to happen."

"He was behind a water tank on top of the building. And somebody across the building across the road, one story higher, shot an RPG. And hit that water tank. And blew it into my son. In which, this is how he died," Kenneth said.

The memorial ceremony included the singing of the national anthem, a gun salute and a raising of the American Flag and the Honor and Remember Flag.

The Honor And Remember Flag is given to families of someone who died while serving.

"It's a statement. It's a statement to all the Gold Star Families that their loved ones will not be forgotten," said Joe Molnar, Honor and Remember Ambassador.

Although Thursday was a special memorial for Travis, the family honors him every day.

"He fought for our freedom. And freedom's not free," Kenneth said. "We know that he's watching from up there. And we're very proud of him."

Honor and Remember Flag is recognized in 26 states. The organization hopes the flag can be recognized nationally, and is always looking for people who can sponsor a flag for a family.

KaMaria Braye

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