Not all military men and women protecting their country get to come home.

They don't get to reunite with their families in a community homecoming celebration and they don't get to hug their spouse and children one last time.

Stephenville residents honored local veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in war during the American Legion's annual Memorial Day service Monday.

"Like most wars, the lucky ones came home, but some of our friends stayed behind under those white crosses," recalled Chief Master Sergeant Richard Lucas, retired Air Force veteran.

The service was attended by veterans ranging from 30 to 80 years old, family of soldiers killed in action and other community members honoring the fallen. It is held annually by the Turnbow-Higgs Post 240 of the American Legion.

"The young men in our great country have always answered the call to duty," Lucas said. "They strongly believe in freedom of the press, freedom of religion, in personal liberty and all the other rights this country stands for."