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John Lanca

U.S. Navy

Dear Eric and Michael,

It will be 5 yrs this January that my brother died. I came across your display at the TAPS seminar this past year. I am requesting a portrait of my brother for my Mother. I see how she lives through the pain of loosing her son everyday. My brother John served in the Navy Reserves for 20years. He was deployed in July of 2005 and returned in April of 2006. He returned a different person. He struggled for 8 long months dealing with PTSD, which ultimately caused him to take his own life. Despite trying to get help through the VA, which was useless, we lost him. My brother was a kind and gentle person. He never could say anything negative about anyone. He was always there when you needed him. I never heard him raise his voice. He had the most beautiful brown eyes, that looked at you in the most gentle way. My brother was always a hard worker, and always thought of others before he thought of himself. He loved to joke around. He was good about leaving little notes around for you to find. He still leaves me things when I least expect it. I know that he is safe now in a wonderful place.

Thank you both for you dedication and time honoring our fallen heroes. I don’t think the majority of the American citizens realize the sacrifice of our service men and women and their families.



Knew John Lanca very well. He was in my Company, Charley Company, PAPA Battalion, US Navy Customs.

We were based out of Camp Patriot KNB Kuwait. We had alot of Duty together as Customs Boarder Clearing Agents, "CBCA.". John was a very pleasant and dedicated individual. We were not in direct Combat. However, some of the things we saw and dealt with were also very intense. We dealt with a lot of combat casualty vehicles. They had the big letters painted on the vehicles, "CCF, (Combat Casualty Fatality). Military personel were killed in those vehicles. The vehicles were all shot up with bullet holes, blasted and burned from RPG hits and twisted and wrecked from IED'S, ( Improvised explosive de…

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