Richard Schofield, 1931-2011. My brother, my hero. Korean War, 2nd Infantry Division 1950-51. That’s him on the right in the photo of three soldiers from Korea. I do not know the names of the other two soldiers. I can only assume they were just awarded their Combat Infantry Badge since they are all wearing them upon their uniforms. And my brother liked a good picture. After being discharged from the Army, he moved to Michigan where and his wife Vi worked and retired from GM. They raised a family that enjoyed life, the outdoors and many, many friends. Richard was thirty-nine years older than me and since our dad passed away when I was only four, he became more of a father figure later in my life. His sons and daughter are still more like my brothers and sister. Partially due to the fact we are closer in age than he was. We didn’t have a close relationship when I was growing up due to our age difference and me living an another state with my Mom. We would visit in the summer when I was on vacation from school and that was always my favorite place to go. (Not in the least due to the fact he and his wife treated my Mom so well and accepted her as family even though she was not his Mom.) Every trip was some adventure even if I was too young to be in on all of the jokes. None the less, age-wise, they were really more like my aunt and uncle. When I returned from serving in the Persian Gulf, we finally had the link that had been missing. Now my relationship with my brother quickly evolved into one I will forever miss. I have never been as comfortable, as at-ease, with anyone. He easily became my best confidant and every visit, in person or over the phone, we would pick right up where we last left. My brother struggled fiercely with Lymphoma at the end of his life. I saw the man I looked up to and revered, fight the last good fight. I was difficult watching my hero be painfully broken down like he was. Months into it, he finally acknowledged the fact that chemotherapy was not working and stopped treatments. Our last visit was full of a sense of clarity and laughter that had been lacking for some time. We talked again as brothers. In our own ways I guess we said our good-byes. He explained that he knew what was happening and that this, as it was, was far better than what he was experiencing during treatments. In his way he was letting me know it was ok. And I believed him. I always had a notion to get a tattoo, but never could really, honestly convince myself of any design I would be comfortable with forever. There was never a doubt that it would have to be military in nature. Simple, meaningful and respectful. I always took my uniform seriously and I viewed this no differently. As I watched my brother’s last battle, I was moved to design a tattoo in his memory. Once I sat down and started piecing different ideas together, it quickly took shape. Richard’s military records were lost with that of millions of other veterans in a 1973 fire at the St. Louis records center. We learned of this only when we requested a copy of his DD-214 following his death. The certificate we received only states that he did serve in the Army roughly in the time frame we already knew. Missing is the documentation of his initial training, being attached to 2nd ID, awarding of the Korean service ribbon, UN service ribbon and most importantly the CIB he wears in the above photo and others. All of this came together to form my tribute to him and I wear it proudly. I had it made permanent the week I gave his eulogy which made it all that more meaningful to me. I truly believe without serving in the military, I would have missed out on really connecting with my brother. On this Veterans Day I salute all Veterans, past and present. Thank You!