(Soundbite of music)
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
And it's Friday morning, which means it's time again for StoryCorps. This project has been capturing the stories of people all across America. And today, we have the memories of a fallen Marine shared with us by his two older sisters.
Ms. JENNY FRANCIS: I'm Jenny Francis.
Ms. REBECCA FULLER: I'm Rebecca Fuller. We're here to remember our brother, First Lt. Travis John Fuller, who was killed in Iraq. He was born immature as he would put it - he was more premature, and he was always the little guy. Even in the Marines we'd get pictures of him and, oh, these six-foot Marines and there he was, you know, 5' 7".
Ms. FRANCIS: Even though he was the younger brother and we were the older sisters, we were always looking up to Travis, trying to win his approval.
Ms. FULLER: When I knew Travis was coming to visit, the first thing in my head was always we have to do something cool.
Ms. FRANCIS: But he didn't care.
Ms. FULLER: No. No. He would make a good time wherever he was. It didn't matter. He would have a friend there in minutes. When mom and dad went to one of his graduations, he took the time to introduce mom and dad to the janitor who played the piano, and the cooks in the kitchen. He took the time to notice the people around him.
Ms. FRANCIS: How did you feel when you found out that Travis had enlisted in the Marines?
Ms. FULLER: I actually remember this very clearly, and it's one of the things that I regret the most. He came home and he had some pamphlets talking about the Marines. And I just gave him a real hard time about it. And he got up and stormed out of the room and went down into the basement. And it was then that I realized how dedicated he felt about joining the Marines. And I went down and talked to him and let him know that I may not understand his choice, but I'm still going to love him and be proud of him. And I always hoped that it wasn't the memory of him running down into the basement that he thought of, but of all the other things that I tried to do to let him know that I was proud of him for everything.
Ms. FRANCIS: We found out that Travis had been killed in a helicopter crash in January of 2005.
Ms. FULLER: It was probably the worst day of my life.
Ms. FRANCIS: My parents found out the news first and then the next morning came out to get me, then we drove up to see you to, you know, deliver the unfortunate news in person. And we were sitting upstairs in this pretty small room, and it suddenly hit me that our whole family fit it this tiny little room. And it was just us, that was it, that was everybody. And along with losing him, we were losing what our family could be in the future too.
We were losing the wife that he might have, our new sister in law. We were losing any children that he might have to add to our family. Everyone was in that room and it was so small.
(Soundbite of music)
INSKEEP: Rebecca Fuller with his sister Jenny Francis, remembering their brother First Lt. Travis John Fuller. Two years ago today, Lt. Fuller and 30 others were killed in Iraq when their helicopter crashed in a sandstorm. This StoryCorps conversation, like all the others, will be archived at the Library of Congress. And you can schedule your interview by going to npr.org.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.