A son, soldier remembered on Memorial Day

1st Lt. Salvatore Corma

May 29, 2011 9:00:58 PM PDT
Memorial Day is about remembering those who gave their lives for the country. On Sunday, Action News visited with a New Jersey family who knows the meaning of that sacrifice.

"For every soldier that is killed or wounded there is a family behind who is suffering just as much," mother Trudy Corma said.

Trudy and Sal Corma understand the true meaning of Memorial Day.

A little over a year ago they lost their son, 1st Lt. Salvatore Corma, to an improvised explosive device while serving in Afghanistan; he was marking the device.

"There were Al-Qaeda down in the ravine, the guys behind cover saw, and we feel they triggered it off," Trudy said.

Corma died, but 19 of his fellow soldiers survived unharmed. The family recently spent time with the men.

"Just to see them talking to us and hugging us, now I know why Sal died, he saved these 19 guys," father Sal Corma said.

The family says the last year has been a blur.

But a steady stream of letters have helped in the healing, especially the one from Sgt. Michael Herne who was with Corma when he died.

Trudy read a portion of the letter for Action News:

"You always placed the mission and the men over your own welfare and comfort, I'm honored to have served you and humbled to have known you and been able to call you my platoon leader and friend, I love you like a brother and I'll do everything in my power to live to your standards, you made the ultimate sacrifice to me and the rest of the United States...you will not be forgotten."

Corma's legacy will live on in Woodbury Heights.

His elementary school, St. Margaret Regional, will hold a ceremony on Tuesday announcing a scholarship in his name; the scholarship will be awarded to the highest achieving student each year so that student can go on to a Catholic high school.