By Mike Bush
ST. CHARLES (KSDK)- "My name is Julie Vinnedge", is how she began her speech at VFW post 400 in Fenton.
When Vinnedge makes a speech she usually does it solo but she's the first to remind you that she's never alone.
"I know that he's saying way to go mom," she said.
At the Vinnedge home in St. Charles, there are memories of their youngest son Phillip and of Sept. 11th 2001.
"Phillip was 10 years old and he came to his dad and I and told us he was going into the military and he was going to get the bad guy, "she said.
It was a promise he kept. Less than 10 years later, Lance Corporal Vinnedge was deployed to the dangerous Helmand province Afghanistan with the 3rd battalion 5th Marines.
"Unfortunately, over their 7th month deployment they had 25 men killed," she said.
Phillip Vinnedge, 19, was among the casualties.
For years, Phillip had talked about buying a classic Chevy truck. To honor him, his dad and brothers restored a 1951 Chevy pickup and dressed it with a fallen heroes paint job for use in parades, car shows and other events, reminding everyone that freedom isn't free.
"I think it's a great tribute. It's a shame this is how it had to be built, " one observer said.
September 11th is not the day that Phillip Vinnedge died, but like she told VFW post 400 in Fenton, it's the day the family learned a lesson about determination.
"Phillip taught me what it means to be patriotic. Phillip taught me what it means to give back, " Vinnedge said.
One mom remembering the sacrifice of our fallen so that we will never forget.
For more on the Vinnedge family's Fallen Heroes Dream Ride: http://www.fallenherosdreamride.org/