HERNANDO, MS (abc24.com) - It's been nearly 14 months since a Mid-South Marine was killed in Afghanistan. For his parents, Veterans Day is now much more than just a holiday.
Ross and Sissy Ose of Hernando, Mississippi, have always been patriotic. Both of their fathers served in the military. However, it's their son, Lance Corporal Josh Ose, who signed up for the Marines before he even graduated high school, who has changed how they think of veterans.
"I have relatives who fought," Sissy Ose tells abc24.com. "I never told them thank you or said anything special to them, but now I remember them more."
It was one of the last lessons their son taught them.
"Memorial Day and Veterans Day were always just a holiday to me," Sissy Ose explains. "But since Josh was killed in Afghanistan, we do realize the importance now and celebrate it a different way."
"On days like," says Ross Ose, "I spend a little more time with the folks who have sons and daughters serving, or who have served themselves."
The Oses know how much their son meant to them, but it's still surprising and comforting for them to hear how much Josh meant to people across the Mid-South. Ross Ose tears up as he remembers what happened to them on Memorial Day.
"Sissy and I were here on the porch and a gal pulled up with her 13-year-old son," he says. "That young man made his mom stop. He just wanted to say thank you. There are a lot of good ways to show support for the families who touch us deeply."
"What I cry now," adds Mrs. Ose, "are happy tears because everybody has been so nice and helpful. They've really gotten us through all this, unbelievably well."
And that's what they want for other veterans and their families to know. Their service to our country, say the Oses, means something important and deserves to be recognized.
"Make sure there's a flag on every veteran's grave," says Mr. Ose, "in every cemetery in America. It's not a big deal to do."
The Oses have received hundreds of sympathy and thank you cards from people across the globe. They've saved them all and read them often to help make it through the hard times.
Lance Corporal Ose was killed September 20, 2010, while on foot patrol in Afghanistan. He was attacked while trying to study a new enemy technology for IED's.