Flags Presented to Mabry Family

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A soldier who died in the line of duty was honored Thursday for the sacrifice he made for his country.

Marines at NAS Meridian, as well as the American Legion District 5, honored the family of Chris Mabry, who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

In the year since her grandson died, Francis Mabry has had a lot of time to reflect on his life. Much of that recollection now is done through a scrapbook she made of him. It's filled with pictures, letters and articles about who Chris was and how he died.

"Even though I know Chris is still alive in my heart, it keeps him alive for others," said Francis.

And others aren't forgetting. That's why local Marines teamed up with the American Legion to present Mabry and her family with tokens of appreciation for the sacrifice Chris made.

Every Marine at the Navy base signed a Marine flag that was given to the family Thursday. Another flag, combining the stars and stripes with the Marine emblem, was also given to them. It's a small way for these men and women to say thanks.

"Any time a life is lost, it's sad. But it also instills our freedom, and that's the ultimate sacrifice any family member or person can make," said Robby Alexander, vice-commander of the American Legion.

It's a sacrifice the Mabrys have not recovered from yet, though Francis Mabry says it does get easier. And she says having others say thanks helps the healing process even more.

"It's good to know others cared about him. We loved him as a family, but they loved him as a brother Marine," Francis said.

Chris's death was difficult for family and fellow Marines, but both say he'll never be forgotten, for the man he was and the life he gave.