If you’re new to Dallas-Fort Worth, you may be surprised to learn that prior to 1997 the region had no national cemetery of its own.

Ken Watterson helped change that.

But that’s only part of Ken’s quiet yet far-reaching impact. During Vietnam, Ken served his country as a United States Marine – earning the Purple Heart during his second tour of duty. Ken struggled after the war, and retreated to the peace of his farm. Then in 1985, Delta Airlines Flight 191 went down during a severe thunderstorm just north of DFW Airport. The scenes of first responders and rescuers awakened something in Ken. Simply, he says, “I got down off my tractor”.

What’s Patterson has been doing since is helping just about anyone he can. He converted an old armory into a resource center for veterans, labors to end homelessness among those who served, and fights to reduce the daily number suicides among those who’ve answered their country’s call.

If you’ve ridden a mission with the Patriot Guard, you’ve probably seen Ken. If a loved one needs a ride to an Honor Flight, Ken may have arranged it. If a family member earned a military funeral, chances are Ken set up the color guard. If a homeless veteran dies alone under a bridge, it’s people such as Ken who make sure respect is paid.

We’ve heard these songs all our lives, but listen to them now as a teenager from Texas in a jungle on the other side of the world. Even for those who lived through that time, you’ll not hear them the same way again.

Our special Memorial Day presentation of…”Dusty Attics”.

Learn more about the Veterans Resource Center
Find out more about the #StopOne suicide prevention initiative
The VA North Texas Health Care System