TUCSON, Ariz. — Veterans and their families and friends gathered at 1912 brewery to have a reunion and remember the lives of the fellow soldiers they lost in battle.
"We've lost a lot of friends, in the meantime, a lot of brothers, sisters... coming with memorial day, that's why we want to remember," Owner of 1912 Brewery Allan Conger said.
Some veterans he served with, like Miguel Diaz, traveled from the East coast just to be at the event.
It’s Memorial Day weekend!— Veronika Vernachio (@vvernachio) May 25, 2019
I’m on the westside at the 1912 Brewing Company where they’re having their rally point reunion for veterans who served in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedoms. @kgun9
The event is going on until 8! pic.twitter.com/xpPsy8Xo0I
"If we lose those memories, we lose them as a person and who they are, or who they were and who they could have been," Diaz said.
Conger and Diaz were both born and raised in Tucson. They served as Marines in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Conger is the owner of 1912 Brewery.
Conger said hosting this event gives veterans a chance to connect, but also gives him a chance to see the friends he served with.
"Most people don't understand where veterans come from, because we kind of have a different culture than most of America," Conger said.
To help veterans, 1912 Brewery just launched a new beer called "Until Valhalla." All the proceeds for the beer will go to local charities that benefit veterans.
"Vahalla is kind of that warrior heaven, and that's kind of our stance in the marine corps and a couple other branches." Conger said. "Until Vahalla, we will see you in Until Vahalla, and that's what we wanted to dedicate this beer too."
Conger said for veterans, memorial day isn't about the BBQ or the extra day off from work, but about honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom.