Memorial Day speaker reflects on his support system and the safety of home
At the Memorial Day ceremony in his hometown, retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Marcus Kuboy of Woodbury glanced at his brother, then described his past injuries from a roadside bomb in Iraq and the different kind of war waged on the homefront: recovery.
On Monday, Kuboy's personal care assistant (PCA) sat and listened to the Memorial Day address a dozen feet away from Kuboy, who spoke to more than 500 people at the Woodbury Lions Veterans Memorial.
At a pivotal moment in Kuboy's recovery, his brother let him know that he could get bitter and no one would blame him, or he could get better. "Now it's on me," Kuboy said. "Now it's all about my choices." And he has since become a mental health practitioner focused on helping other veterans.
The ceremony, put on by Woodbury Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post No. 9024 and American Legion Post No. 501, featured a three-volley salute from the organizations' joint ceremonial rifle squad, along with the posting of the colors by the Woodbury High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), American Heritage Girls and Boy Scouts of America Troop No. 559, a 1st Minnesota Regiment presentation by Cpl. John Phillips and Pvt. Patrick Chase, a wreath presentation by Capt. Justin Gartner and Staff Sgt. Heather Gartner of the VFW, remarks by Gartner, casket bearers from the 2nd Military Police Brigade 102nd Maneuver Support of the U.S. Army Reserve, the posting of the flag and a flag folding by Minnesota National Guard honor guard, Taps by bugler Dale Johnson of the Legion and VFW, "Amazing Grace" by bagpiper Bill Gilchrist, an invocation and benediction with the Rev. Father Stanley Sledz of Guardian Angels Catholic Church in Oakdale, and a reading of Minnesota's fallen soldiers by Ron Kane and bell ringer Rick Starke of the VFW.
For Kuboy, Memorial Day reminds of the safety of home and the support from which he benefits.
"To those of you who have lost a loved one," Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said in her remarks, "thank you for your sacrifice."
Flags at the veterans memorial were flown at half-staff until noon.