Fallen soldier remembered by father

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

A grieving father is remembering his son on this Memorial Day.

Staff Sergeant Terry William Prater was killed in Iraq three years ago, but the pain is still strong.

Starting in 2008, Terry Prater began honoring his son by releasing balloons at Dewey Lake in Floyd County on Memorial Day.

"He loved fishing. He loved being on a lake, he loved grilling out. He was an outside person," Prater said.

Terry Prater, his wife, and stepson each wrote messages on balloons they released from the middle of the lake. Even though three years have passed, the pain of his son's death is still there.

"Maybe the pain won't go away, but hopefully it'll get to a point where I can handle it better," Prater said.

Every Memorial Day, Prater remembers the ultimate sacrifice his son, and others, have made for this country.

"If it wasn't for soldiers like him, just imagine what kind of shape we'd be in," Prater said.

Prater says he is so proud his son. Even though he still misses him, he knows his son was doing his job.

"That's what I gotta keep telling myself. That he did what he wanted to do,'" Prater said.

Prater says he has changed since his son's death, and does not take anything for granted.

"Enjoy the moment and don't worry about tomorrow, because it may not even be here," Prater said.

A painful reminder for a man who's still mending a broken heart.

Staff Sergeant Prater also left behind a wife and two young children who live in Tennessee.

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