According to The Associated Press, Todd Weaver's idea of a romantic gift was not jewelry, roses or mushy cards. He preferred unique fancy gifts, for example, the time he celebrated the 21st birthday of his wife, Emma, by taking her skydiving.
The AP went on to say that Todd and Emma met in high school in Virginia. He was a popular baseball and football star. Right before leaving for a tour of duty in Iraq via his service in the National Guard, he ran outside in the rain in his socks to give Emma a kiss goodbye.
After Todd returned from his tour, the couple were inseparable. Todd joined the ROTC while attending the College of William & Mary. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 2008. Todd and Emma married and had a beautiful daughter, Kiley, who was only 9 months old when her father left for his second deployment to Afghanistan.
On Sept. 9, 2010, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Todd W. Weaver, 26, who was assigned to 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky., died serving his country in Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Weaver was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.
WTKR in Williamsburg, Va., reported that since Todd was killed in action last September, his widow, Emma, and his parents, Don and Jeanne Weaver, have been seeking to preserve his memory and sacrifice by raising money for a memorial scholarship in his name at William & Mary, an award that will fund a study abroad trip for a student every year. So far, they have raised $40,000 of the $50,000 needed to endow the scholarship.
It chaps my hide when people today belittle our military or say America doesn't have young people who display the brazen courage of men of old when our service members continue willfully to place themselves in harm's way and defend freedom to the point of death.
Last year, my wife, Gena, and I visited West Point, where the thousands of young cadets blew us away with how ready and eager they were to serve their country. And who can overlook the guts and nerve of our Navy SEALs as they took down Osama bin Laden? Beyond all these are the hundreds of thousands of patriots since America's founding like Todd Weaver, who literally have given up their very lives for their country and our freedom.
Each Memorial Day, we honor and commemorate all of our fallen warriors. The day holds a special meaning for all of us, and for the families of the fallen, it provides a profoundly proud yet painful remembrance.