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'Always Lost: A Meditation on War'

Updated: 01/16/2014 8:44 AM
Created: 01/15/2014 4:41 PM WDIO.com

Six thousand men and women serving our country made the ultimate sacrifice fighting the War on Terror. Their faces line an entire wall at the Mesabi Range College library in Virginia. 

The photographs and poems that line the other walls capture a glimpse of the haunting world of war. On one wall, is Noah Pierce. An Eveleth-Gilbert grad, he served two tours in Iraq. But he couldn't find peace when he returned, and he suffered from PTSD. Eventually, he took his own life. 

His mother, Cheryl Softich, said that she put out poems Noah wrote at his funeral. 

"The poems explained what he did and why he did it," she said on Wednesday.

Cheryl told us someone at the funeral sent those poems to Nevada, where a college class was putting together the exhibit, called "Always Lost: a Meditation of War." They wanted to include Noah in a section about suicide.

"They said, and I quote, we would like your precius son to be part of this exhibit. And I said, ok." His picture and some of his poems have their own section of the memorial.

Cheryl called Mesabi Range and asked if they could bring this touring exhibit here. It's the first college in Minnesota  to host it, according to Dean of Student Affairs, David Dailey.

"It's a way for us to show a small tribute, and for us to identify and experience different things that veterans have gone through," he said. Dailey said he hopes this leads to a panel discussion about the issues facing our vets.

Because some of them leave the combat zone, but can't get out of the mindset.

"He is making a difference. I'm sorry he had to die to do so. But he's done a lot for people in his death. He's saved lives.  The VA system didn't help him, but there is help for guys coming home now," she added.

For her, this is about coming full circle. "My son is back home."

Thursday is the grand opening of the exhibit. The event begins at 4:30pm. The exhibit will be here for two months.

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