JEFFERSON, Ohio -- The American flags flutter around a Vietnam era helicopter in Jefferson. There, a new memorial stands to honor the fallen heroes who were once forgotten.
"At the time, We weren't appreciated for what we did at the time," says Vietnam veteran Charles McQueen.
Ensuring that veterans are not forgotten was a passion for Vietnam veteran Gary Pratt, 63, but when he was asked to speak at a Memorial Day dedication, there was some hesitation.
"Some people don't realize how vivid that can come back to you when you start talking about it," says close friend and fellow veteran Bob Lister, referring to the war.
However, Pratt wanted to honor his fallen comrade, Ronald Brown. Despite the 90-degree heat, Pratt wore his old combat jacket and boots.
"My mom tried to say it's a really hot day. 'Maybe you should leave the coat or at least take it off,' and he said, 'Absolutely not,'" says Pratt's stepdaughter, Brittany Simon.
The love of Pratt's life -- his wife Pam -- was supposed to be at a family picnic, but something summoned her there.
As he spoke, the emotion and the heat proved to be too much. Pratt suddenly suffered a heart attack and collapsed before a stunned crowd.
"He had just got out the words, 'He [Brown] gave it his all.' And as soon as he said that, he collapsed at that podium," Lister recalls.
McQueen believes Pratt died as he lived: Committed to veterans.
"I'd say that's what he'd want... to go that way," McQueen said.
Whether you call it -- fate or faith -- Pratt's wife was with him until the very end.
"He'd want us to continue what he was doing," said Lister, as he choked back tears. "I plan to do that."
"When we're ready, I think we'll be celebrating his life, instead of mourning his death," Simon said.