Brian was killed on Jan. 1, 2005, at the age of 19 by an IED while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Joining Shirley during the interview with NPR was Sgt. Kevin Powell, a member of Brian’s platoon with 2nd Marine Division, Small Craft Company,
“I couldn’t wait to meet you and give you a hug,” says Powell, remembering the day they first met. “I remember running through my head what I’d say to you. I walked up to you, I gave you a hug, and I didn’t say anything — because I couldn’t. And I’m sorry for that.”
“The hug was enough,” Parrello says, telling Powell there’s no need for an apology. “As a little boy when [Brian] would go to bed at night I would tuck him in and give him a kiss and a hug and then I’d walk out of the room and he’d say, ‘One more hug, Mom.’ This would go on — I mean, it was like 10 times. I’d have to go back and forth. And at the time you’re thinking, ‘Come on, Brian. Please? You know, it’s late.’ Now I would give anything to have one more hug.”
“The day that you lost Brian you gained 20-something other sons, and we’ll always be your sons,” Powell tells her. “It never ceases to amaze me … how strong you are. The things that we talk about, that I can hardly talk about, and he was your son. I want to tell you that I know you’re hurting, and I’ll always be there for you, for as long as I’m alive.”
For more on the interview, please visit NPR.org.
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