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John Prater (USN SCPO/E-8/Retired)-Family
Collazo, Ernesto (Ernie), CSM USA(Ret).
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Home Town Vieques Island
Last Address Pembroke Pines, Florida
Date of Passing Mar 27, 2007
Location of Interment Cementerio Municipal - De Vieques, Puerto Rico
Wall/Plot Coordinates Vieques Cenetery
Last Known Activity Not Specified
The Brave Are Many
A Brave Young Soldier crawls through a muddy trench along a line between good and evil. The air he breathes burns his lungs. His eyes strain to see her face. And as the poisonous gas its grisly task done, rises toward the sky, his soul follows close behind.
A Brave Young Soldier marches through the Jungles of the Philippine Islands. Head held high, back straight, eyes forward, courage strong and faith unbroken. A death march to Bataan, endured.
A Brave Young Soldier survives the cruel and merciless hell War of Vietnam. Now he fights another war from a bed in a VA Hospital. A vicious microscopic demon devouring his body cell by cell. A lifetime of dreams not yet realized, as he kisses his bride of some thirty years one last time.
A Brave Young Soldier lies face down in the sand of a far away land. He is mortally wounded, his crimson blood soaked up by the desert. His tears fall like shining bits of silver, falling not for the pain nor the fear of death. As he cries he sees generations before him of Brave Young Soldiers reaching out their hands to welcome him home. Fighting to resist the flight to heaven he cries, “Am I the last?” As he passes from this life, he fears he's the last.
“Form up lads” the Sergeant barks as the Brave Young Soldier takes his place among God’s Heavenly Honor Guard.
A Brave Young bride holds the folded flag, her heart broken and bleeding. Blowing a kiss to her Brave Young Soldier one last time, she feels a kick from within her womb. “You will not be the last, my Brave Young Soldier.” She whispers softly.