ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - History, family, tragedy and honor.
They're all themes in the story one woman has to tell about why she's thankful this year.
Betty Myers's brother, George Arthur "Artie" Myers, died while serving as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam.
"He was my hero," she said.
He was killed on Thanksgiving Day of 1966 at the age of 18. Betty was 13 at the time.
Artie had been injured prior to that day in a grenade blast. So, he was serving as a scout for his patrol when his injured legs gave out on him. A sniper saw him and shot him in the head.
The loss was devastating. Then, a little more than two months later, Artie's cousin, John, was also killed in Vietnam. After that, the holidays would never be the same, especially since Betty felt like her family never got closure. She never saw inside her brother's closed casket.
"I always wondered, was he really in there? For a long time, I wondered that."
And, her parents couldn't afford a headstone. So, for decades, his final resting place was without a stone to show his story or his sacrifice.
"I just felt like there was something that was not complete," said Betty.
But then, a couple of years ago, Betty got a call from a man who had served in the same unit as Myers. He was on a mission to make sure soldiers killed in Vietnam received the honors they deserved. He helped Betty fill out the paperwork. Then, 45 years after his death, George Arthur Myers was honored with a service, and finally, a headstone.
"Having that grave marking made it complete, made it almost like a closure for us, finally," Betty said.