Ron White Uses his Memory Skills to Honor The Fallen Heroes
Ron White is a two time memory champion and memory expert who teaches people on Youtube, tricks on how to have a better memory or how to memorize things. For example, he can help you memorize numbers, names with faces, speeches, vocabulary terms, cards, reading material and whatever else you want.
Ron White was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served from 2002-2010 as a reservist and was deployed to the Afghanistan war in 2007. When he returned from Afghanistan, he thought to himself, “The general public has no idea the sculpt and sacrifice that so many families and heroes made for our freedom.” Naturally, as a memory champion and a veteran, the biggest and most important project in Ron’s entire life, had to do with his service in the U.S. Military and the Afghanistan Memory Wall.
Ron decided to start on a project that would allow everyone to recognize and remember all of our fallen heroes from the Afghanistan War. He knew this was going to be his most special project and the biggest, hardest and most meaningful project he would ever take on. Ron was willing to commit all his time to birthing this important project, because he knew it needed to be done.
If he was a painter, he would’ve painted a portrait, if he was a singer, he would’ve written a song, but he was a memory expert, so he used his memory skills to memorize everyone that died in Afghanistan. He memorized all of the fallen heroes in the order of their death, their rank, and their full names. There were 2,300+ people. That was over 7,000 words. Ron felt it was the right way to honor them, to say “You are significant, your life was important and we honor you, we’re not going to forget you.”
Every once in a while, a parent, relative, or friend would walk by and remind Ron that this wasn’t just 7,000 words, this was their son or daughter or brother or sister or a good friend, someone special to them, someone they held closely to their heart.
It was February 28, 2013 that Ron decided he was ready to begin the journey. He started writing everyone’s names and he heard the name “Austin Staggs” he continued writing and then he heard someone in the crowd say “Austin Staggs” again. Finally he turned around and said asked the woman if she knew Austin Staggs because that was a name on the wall. The lady said “Yes, I do, he was grandson, I came out here to see you write his name.”
Ron told her it was going to be a few more hours before he was able to get to Austin’s name, as he was writing them in a certain order. The lady stated that she would wait then pulled up a chair and moved the chair down behind Ron hour after hour, as he continued to write.
Finally, about three minutes before writing Austin Stagg’s name, Ron turned to the lady and apologized that it took so long to get to his name. However, she replied “I’m glad it did, it gave his mom time to get here, she drove out here to see you write his name.”
Ron stood there at the wall and wrote Austin’s name, with his mom and grandmother behind him. It was an extremely emotional moment for all of them. They gave Ron a hug and the mother said “Thanks for not letting people forget about my son.”
Ron does this to keep their memory alive, that’s the main reason. Ron says this project has helped him to become a better person, by learning about these heroes, hearing their stories and their selfless acts was humbling.
A woman came up to Ron and asked about a name, and if it was on the wall. Ron let her know, that it was. Ron took her to the location of the wall where the name was written and pointed to the name and she started to cry. The woman stated that the name on the wall was a special guy, he was a big, strong guy and her brother was a little guy and they had to go on this mission and whenever they would go out, this guy would carry his backpack and carry her brother’s backpack, because her brother was a small guy. Not only that, but he would go and walk in front of her brother to protect him. Because of that, he lost his life and her brother is alive today.
This story really touched Ron. He didn’t focus on the name and she left. Later that evening, Ron realized that it didn’t matter that he didn’t know the name of the person the woman talked about, because that is the story of all of the fallen heroes. They all carried our backpacks, they all went before us to protect us and they all sacrificed their life.