Dear JFS Friends, Supporters, and Collaborative Partners,

As part of my Memorial Day message, I normally talk about the annual Brothers for Life and New England Injured US Soldiers event at Gillette Stadium, hosted by the Kraft family. This event brings together wounded warriors from Israel and U.S. injured soldiers from our local communities. There is a special bond among wounded warriors and, certainly, there is always discussion about the circumstances leading to their war injuries as well as about the physical and mental challenges they have faced throughout and since their recuperation. Moreover, there is the realization that they were the lucky ones. So many of their fellow warriors did not make it back to family and other loved ones. This year, because of the war in the Middle East, this event, typically held around the Memorial Day weekend*, our U.S. Federal holiday honoring the memory of those lost to war, will not take place.

This is a weekend filled with outdoor activities, barbeques, the company of friends and family and other fun events kicking off the summer season. It also is a time when we remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our way of life, as well as their grieving families.

As many of you know, for me, it is a bittersweet weekend. As a Naval Academy graduate and someone who served for 22 years in the U.S. Navy, I personally have known so many, including friends and classmates, who have been lost. Reflecting upon their bravery and sacrifice, I celebrate their memory, even while grieving their loss.

I hope that, amidst a weekend of family fun, you will take even a small amount of time to commemorate Memorial Day. Attend a local memorial service, visit a military cemetery, take a moment of silence to pay respect and/or share stories of fallen heroes with your loved ones, reminding them of the bravery and dedication displayed by our service men and women and their families.

These heroes are among those I remember on Memorial Day Weekend:

I remember my good friend Major Rick (Ricardo) Crocker United States Marine Corp Reserve. A Police Officer in Santa Monica CA and recalled to active duty, he was killed in action May 26, 2005 in a coordinated Rocket Propelled Grenade attack by insurgents while conducting combat operations in Haditha, Iraq. A memorial scholarship has been setup in his honor at his Alma Mater, George Washington University (click here to learn more).



I remember U.S. Marine Corporal Mark Goyet, the son of my very close friend and Navy Shipmate, U.S. Navy Captain Ray Goyet, U.S. Navy (retired). Mark was killed in action June 28, 2011 during a mountain patrol and encounter with a large Taliban force. His parents set up a foundation in his memory to provide college scholarships (click here to learn more).



I remember my good friend and local “Bostonian” from Westwood MA, Ernie Greppin. He was a gentle giant with a big heart and 6’ 4 inches, 220 lbs of lighting speed and strength. He was top rower at Annapolis. He was lost on July 15, 1991 on an operational parachuting mishap as a SEAL.



I remember many more of my Naval Academy classmates killed in action or operations.

I also remember the heroic sacrifice of over 31,600 soldiers who have been killed in action in Ukraine and Israel and so many more lost in unnecessary wars triggered by tyranny and terrorism.

Finally, I remember and support the Gold Star families that must find a way forward in the absence of their beloved, lost service men and women. The Gold Star family designation is a badge of honor to which no family aspires.

I have been proud of the work the MA Veterans Collaborative has done to support veterans and those who have lost service members. I serve on its board. Here is a link to learn more

Thank you in advance for spending a bit of time remembering and commemorating our war fallen and their families. Wishing you a meaningful and safe Memorial Day weekend.



Lino Covarrubias
CEO and U.S. Navy Veteran

*Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a Federal holiday established in 1868 for Americans to remember those lost to war.

Follow the links below for events happening in Metrowest and Greater Boston in honor of Memorial Day:

City of Framingham Memorial Day Ceremony

Memorial Day Weekend 2024: 3 Things To Do Around Framingham

Six MetroWest communities that have a full plate of events planned for Memorial Day

10 Things to do this Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Activities for Boston Visitors – 2024

Memorial Day Activities –