CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Marines, friends, and family came together Saturday to honor the mother of a Marine killed 26 years ago during Operation Desert Storm.
Lane Corporal Troy Gregory was the only Richmonder killed in Desert Storm.
His mother, Peggy Green, has been suffering emotionally, physically, and financially ever since.
"He lives every day within me,” Green said.
Green’s life has never been the same since her oldest son’s death.
"Troy always knew what he wanted to do, where he wanted to be, and he pushed other people including me. That all stopped,” Green said.
Green said she became depressed and lost herself for some time after Troy died.
Now, she suffers from glaucoma and is almost legally blind. She also has a painful spinal injury. Years ago, her home -- which she calls "Troy's house" -- was damaged in a fire.
"The money that I got -- hate to say for Troy's death -- but that's what I used to purchase the house. And I consider it Troy's gift to me,” she explained.
"It has pained me greatly to know that she is in need of her son. And her son is at Arlington National Cemetery,” Richard Bordelon, a Marine veteran who served with LCpl. Gregory, said.
In 1990, LCpl. Gregory was serving in the United States Marine Corps Reserve with Hotel Battery, 3rd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, while also attending Virginia Union University.
On Thanksgiving morning, Troy, along with the other Marines of Hotel Battery, received the call that the unit was being activated for combat missions in the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, what would later be known as Operation Desert Storm.
On February 25, 1991, LCpl. Gregory was on a patrol when he stepped on an Iraqi land mine and was mortally wounded. He died the next day, just a few days before his 21st birthday.
LCpl. Gregory was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal and Combat Action Ribbon. Peggy Green became a Gold Star Mother.
"He was extraordinarily sharp. He was highly intelligent. He was a black belt in karate. He was a scholarship athlete,” said Bordelon.
"He had this great big smile. And it was hard to tell if he was angry because he was always smiling. He was a funny guy. He was also a really great friend. And he was a great Marine. The thing that I can tell you right now, I still miss him today after 26 years,” Roland Edmonds, who also served with LCpl. Gregory, said.
Richard Bordelon and Roland Edmonds decided they needed to do something to honor their friend and his mother.
"He was going to go very, very far in life. And he was going to be there for his mother when she was 73 and he is not here. And therefore it falls upon me and the rest of us. We owe him. We owe ourselves. We owe the brotherhood of Marines,” Bordelon said.
"These mothers, they send their sons to fight for our country and some of them don't make it back. Some don't make it back the same as when they left. So we need to make sure that these women are not forgotten,” said Edmonds.
Saturday, Marine veterans, family and friends gathered to honor Ms. Green and kick start a fundraiser to help her restore her home and get the medical help she needs. A GoFundMe account has been created for her.
"We are here for her. Troy was our brother. So in essence that makes her our mother,” said Edmonds.
"I just feel very strongly that the day before Mother's Day this is what needs to be done after 26 years,” said Bordelon.
For Green, it's a treat to hear from those who served with her son and a special Mother's Day present she'll always remember.
"It makes me feel great. It really does,” said Green.