POSTED: Friday, May 27, 2011 - 10:35pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 10:05am
"Some days I can't come in here at all. If I'm having a hard day I can't come in here," said Yvette Duchene.
For her, a newly remodeled den is a place of comfort and pain.
The walls hold mementos of the brave life her son lived but also how he died.
"Time does not heal all wounds as people think it does. Not for the death of your child," said Duchene.
8 months ago, Sr. Airman Daniel, "Danny" Sanchez, 23, was killed in Afghanistan.
As a combat controller, Danny called air strikes for a Special Forces Team.
Duchene said she now knows these elite soldiers share a unique bond.
"Through his death I've learned that people do have hearts and these guys, they really are brothers," said Duchene.
In Afghanistan, Danny was deployed with a group of Army Green Berets.
The moment they returned to the U.S. four of them drove straight to El Paso.
"They didn't get to say goodbye. They took my son away right away and they had to stay there and continue fighting," said Duchene.
His fellow soldiers visited Danny's memorial at Montwood High School and then his grave.
"When I saw them in tears crying at Daniel's grave site, I knew that they needed this more than I did," said Duchene.
They were by Danny's side when he passed and told the family what happened.
"It was very tough for each and every one of us to hear what took our baby away. But I think we really needed to hear it. It helped us," Duchene said.
The men described Danny as their motivator because he was always smiling.
Videos in Danny's camera are only part of all the things Duchene has to remember and honor her son.
This Memorial Day she can only hope people don't forget what he and other soldiers have sacrificed.
She said, "This is a beautiful country and it is so because of people like my son, his brothers and everyone else who has passed and those that are still out there fighting."
Danny's fellow soldiers bought Duchene and her son tickets to visit them in Orlando for Memorial Day. There Duchene will meet a soldier who was shot along with Danny but survived. They will also hold a ceremony for Danny and another combat controller killed in action.