Freedom Fest honors fallen soldiers

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Updated: 7/09/2012 9:24 am Published: 7/07/2012 9:45 pm

The first annual Freedom Fest honored America’s fallen soldiers and veterans across the state. 

Twin brothers, DJ and Jonathan Rachal and guitarist Taylor Griffin are all part of a country group called Swamp Hazard and on their upcoming album they sing a song honoring their uncle, a fallen United States Marine soldier combat engineer Chad Anthony Rachal. 

The song is titled, “If I fall.”

The group traveled up from their home town in Shreveport, Louisiana to play their song for Freedom Fest. 

It brought the crowd to tears. The twins said their uncle was a big supporter of their music career.  

“When he wrecked in the big truck he still had one of our cds in the cd player, wooh, that gets me,” said DJ Rachal.  “Still to this day it's hard for me to sing it.  It took us 45 minutes just to record it.”

“I was just driving down the road and the whole chorus came to me,” said Jonathan Rachal.  “We always tell people, we didn’t write it, he (his uncle) did.”

Other families who have lost their sons, daughters, husbands and wives attended Freedom Fest.  Patriot Guard Rider Greg Martin was one of the event’s organizers.  He helped organize military displays that memorialized the 142 Oklahoma fallen soldiers since September 11, 2001. 

Darrel and Pam Carver lost their son, United States Army solider PFC Cody Carver on October 30th, 2007.  An IED exploded underneath him while he was deployed in Iraq.  He was only a soldier with the Army for eight months.

“He's with me everyday,” said Carver. 

Now Darrel Carver honors his son by driving around a motorcycle with the Patriot guard riders of Oklahoma.  But, his bike is no ordinary bike it is hand painted with photographs, and quotes that honor PFC Cody Carver.  Darrel Carver remembers the last moment he ever saw his son as he left for deployment. 

“Cody was telling me, I said, Cody tell me you’ll walk off that airplane, and he said ‘I can’t do it,’ I knew right that he was not coming home, I knew right then,” said Carver.   

“We go anywhere to let people know we are not going to forget our soldiers,” said Carver. 

All the proceeds from Freedom Fest will go to the patriot Guard Riders of Oklahoma and The Fisher house, an organization that helps military families. 

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