FORT MITCHELL, AL (WTVM) - Linda Garner is a Veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Her late husband Durell is also a Marine Vet.
Durell, or Gunny as his friends affectionately called him, was a Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps – He was also his wife's best friend.
"He was my world," said Linda.
At Sunday's Memorial Day Ceremony at the Fort Mitchell National Cemetery, Brigadier General Jerry H. Martin told those in attendance that veterans suffer two deaths. The veteran's first death is when breath leaves the body, General Martin Explained, the second is when their name and story is never told again.
Today, we will tell you the story of Durell "Gunny" Garner.
"I met him when we were both in the Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune," said Linda. "We married, retired after 20 years and we bought a small farm in Houston County and lived there for another 28 years."
The Garner's would live on that Houston County farm until September 10, 2010 when Gunny lost his battle with lung cancer. The cancer was determined to have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange while he was in Vietnam.
Linda and Gunny had four children, one of whom served in the Air National Guard based out of Dothan and has passed away.
Gunny's call to service is felt throughout the family. His legacy of patriotism will live on for years to come.
"We have a daughter that served in the Navy, she has a daughter that is currently serving in the Navy, I have another granddaughter who is serving in the Marine Corps."
Linda says her two granddaughters are serving today because of their grandfather.
"It is heartwarming to know that they thought that much of their grandfather… He was always a marine. He was a great, great man."