While the National Museum of the United States Army Brick Program continues to “pave the way to Army history,” the personal stories related to the bricks are taking the program to a new level of significance. The feature, “Why My Brick,” invites individuals to explain what motivated them to purchase their bricks and also provides a venue to share the stories behind their brick inscriptions.
“Why My Brick” has generated a variety of stories, from families with ancestors who fought in the Civil War to Soldiers who want to remember buddies they have lost on more recent battlefields. One of the Museum’s themes is “every Soldier has a story,” and this program is a perfect vehicle for these stories to be told and preserved.
SFC Hector Inocente Rivas has one of these stories. The story behind Rivas’ brick begins as he escaped war-torn El Salvador, arriving in the U.S. on July 4, 1982. Rivas worked hard, learned English, and became a naturalized citizen. Motivated by the opportunities he had been given; Rivas enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1994, deployed several times, and is now preparing for his retirement. Rivas wrote in his “Why My Brick” testimonial, “I want every American citizen who sees my brick to know that I served my country with honor. … God Bless the United States of America, home of the brave, land of the free.”
PFC Garrett Kirk dedicated a brick to his high school friend, Cale Clyde Miller, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on May 24, 2012. Kirk wrote of Miller, “Too many times a service member will sacrifice everything for our nation and may be remembered for a few weeks, or a month, but eventually the general public will forget.” By purchasing a brick, Kirk feels he has honored his friend’s sacrifice. “Cale was everybody’s protector (as coined by his mom),” Kirk explained. “He will never be forgotten and it is my hope that we continue to remember all who have sacrificed for us.”
So, tell us.
Who will you honor with a National Army Museum brick and what is your “Why My Brick” story?