Fallen Navy SEAL remembered in South Sioux City, NE
SOUTH SIOUX CITY, NE (KTIV) -
It has been four years since U.S. Navy SEAL, Petty Officer First Class John Douangdara was killed after his helicopter was shot down by a rocket propelled grenade in Afghanistan.
"To think about John, he was only 26 years old, he got no family, he got no kid, whatever," said Phouthasith Douangdara, John's father. "Why he go too soon, you know too fast."
Thursday, Douangdara, who was a dog handler for his SEAL team, was honored in South Sioux City, Nebraska at the dog park that was named after him.
While Douangdara was not there physically, his spirit was there with family and friends as an Honor and Remember Flag was presented during the service.
"Personally, I believe that everybody is a gift," said Jim Meier, director of the Nebraska Honor and Remember Flag chapter. "It's the job of the individual to go deep inside of who they are and discover those gifts and unwrap them and use them for the common good. Johnny did that."
The Honor and Remember Flag represents the men and women who've given their lives defending freedom.
For Douangdara's family and friends, he was the epitome of that.
"I wish I could be more like him, what he did for us, everybody I mean," said Douangdara's friend Nick Byrne. "I can't say enough about him."
Douangdara's father says he is proud of his son's accomplishments.
"I hope in the future, my grandkids to follow Uncle," said John's father. "I've got two grandkids now, two little boys. So I will make them to be like John."
The flag dedicated to Douangdara, is just one way his father will be able to share his example.