Dane R. Balcon wrote this phrase – “the thing I fear the most is being forgotten” – while still in high school. With a dream to serve his country, Balcon was active in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and soon after joined the Army.
Because I will never forget what I have done, I will never forget those days in the sun, thriving in my moments with my brothers and hard-earned glory.
Just a year after he penned those words, Balcon was killed in action in Iraq in 2007 at the age of 19, having volunteered for a mission on his day off.
In this podcast, his mother Carla Sizer, a veteran and founder of Pikes Peak Gold Star Mothers in Colorado Springs, and her husband, Larry, an Air Force medic and Balcon’s stepfather, recall the day they learned of Balcon’s death and talk about why it’s important to remember their son.
“When you lose someone the way that we did . . . it affects communities,” says Carla, a former Air Force Academy professor who holds a doctorate in management and organizational leadership. “It affected all of my students at the Air Force Academy. It affected all the people in our neighborhood. It affected our children. It affected our families. It affected our friends. Because it changes who you are; it changes everything.”
On this Memorial Day, join USAA in paying tribute to Balcon and the 640,000 men and women who have given their lives in defense of our freedom.
To see what USAA is doing to honor the fallen this Memorial Day, visit usaa.com/memorialday. You can also read our latest blog post, Tracing the Red Poppy: The Story of a Memorial Day Icon.