NSA Crane welcome center dedicated to Alec Terwiske

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CRANE, Ind. (WEHT) – United States Marine, Lance Corporal Alec Terwiske was killed in combat 6 years and 8 months ago to the day.

The 21 year-old soldier from Dubois County now has a building at the Navy base in Crane.

Outside of his family, U.S. Senator Todd Young has been the driving force behind Terwiske’s memory. It took just four months to turn building 3204 at NSA Crane into an honor that will last generations.

Terwiske died on September 3, 2012 in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. He and his fellow Marines came under fire from the enemy, and the truck he was in hit an IED.

The day he died is anchor in the lives of people who love him. Time is measured in how long it has been.

“What Sandy gave me was the gift of perspective,” Young said at Friday’s dedication. 

Terwiske’s mom, Sandy gave the Senator a bracelet honoring her son in 2012. Young has said he cherished it, and earlier this year he gave that bracelet to President Donald Trump at the conclusion of his State of the Union address.

“Thank you, Todd for always keeping Alec’s memory alive,” Sandy said. “I am eternally grateful to you.”

Sen. was joined in his petition to the Navy for this honor by Sen. Mike Braun, former Sen. Joe Donnelly, and Congressmen Larry Bucshon and Trey Hollingsworth.

Sandy gave praise to her son’s classmates and friends, some of whom were at the dedication. “Thank you for all the letters, stories, laughter,” she said.

Marines like Alec Terwiske make us proud to be American.

“He dedicated his life to his country, with a full heart,” said Fredrick Street. He was behind the wheel of the truck when Alec died. “He brought friendship, trust, bravery, and laughter to us all.”

Sometimes it is easy to get sucked into something small, like a prom date, sporting event, or our position at work. Maybe we forget the cost.

“We’re here to dedicate a building in honor of a man who’s given us all a gift of perspective,” said Young.

We remember warriors like Alec who raised their hand to defend this nation. He died for everything we hold true.

“Memory reminds you of who you are,” said Street, “and what is worth fighting for.”

The building with his name will eventually crumble and fall but the ultimate sacrifice will not. Alec Terwiske’s patriotism and virtue is immortal.

“Thank you for loving Alec,” Sandy said holding back tears. “Thank you for loving my son.”

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This story was originally published on May 3, 2019

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