The Purpose Behind the Everyday Patriot Project

The Everyday Patriot project began nearly twelve years ago, during the first deployment of my oldest son. As the daughter of a Vietnam War combat US Army veteran, the wife of a US Navy veteran, and the mother of two US Army infantry veterans, it has always hit me very hard the human cost of our military.

However, during my oldest son's first deployment, that cost hit me even harder, and I began to resent the casualness with which the US military is deployed.

I began the Everyday Patriot project to document our service members' humanity, tell a little bit about their lives outside of the military, and provide more than a name to their medals and headstones. There are so many sites that do a much better job describing their medal citations than I do— and are two of my favorites. The rest of the information I gather is from public records and newspaper articles. 

I tend to gloss over their military careers and generally write only the roughest sketches of combat deaths because, to be quite frank, as the mother of two infantrymen who have been under fire, reading about the final moments of any service member's life is absolutely devastating. I've cried for every single one who has died during their service, no matter how long ago, and I have found it nearly impossible to describe more than just the barest facts surrounding combat deaths.

It's a labor of love and one that I will never finish. However, I still think it is worth it.

I write these sketches because our troops are also our people, and we must always remember that.


a.d. elliott is a wanderer, photographer, and storyteller currently living in Salem, Virginia. 

In addition to the travel writings at, you can also read her book reviews at and US military biographies at

Her online photography gallery can be found at


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