For the Pier family, it's still hard to cope with the loss. Everyday they think about their fallen son and brother.
Noah Pier, a 25 year old Lance Corporal Marine, was killed on February 16, 2010 while serving in Afghanistan. The oldest son in a family nine siblings, Noah is remembered as being a happy guy who loved to cook and always had a smile on his face. Noah's brother remembers the good times they had while Noah babysat him. They did "guys nights" when their parents and sisters left the house, making spaghetti and wrestling while spending quality time with each other.
His mother, Vikki, remembers him as a strong man who was extremely secure within himself. She remembers how he would hold her hand as they walked home from the grocery store together. To her, it was his way of making her feel good.
Then there was that fateful day when Vikki got the news that every parent of an active service man or woman fears. She was on the phone with her daughter when her son Nathan started screaming to tell her that the Marines were at their house.
"I heard that if you call, Noah is hurt," Vikki told the Marines," but if you come to the door, he has been killed. Is this accurate?"
The Marines replied with a calm, "Yes ma'am." The news was devastating for the family.
After being in Charlotte for 17 years, the Pier family moved out of the city to help cope with the loss of their son, moving about an hour west to the town of Bostic. They have a log cabin there and have made several dedications to their son on the property. His father Mark added a flagpole and plaque with Noah's name on it to commemorate his life. A fruit tree was also planted in Noah's honor. Noah is buried at the Arlington National Cemetery with his other fallen comrades. His family has visited there but since it's so far away, they thought it was a good idea to have a memorial a little closer them, on their own property.
So every Memorial Day, the Pier family gathers to remember the hero who gave his life to serve his country. They write letters, put them in balloons and send them off into the sky. Vikki has even sent his favorite cake up in one of the balloons.
Although it's been four years, they miss Noah more and more each day. The Pier family does take solace in the fact that since they are believers in God, they believe they'll see Noah again one day.
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