RICHARDSON (CBSDFW.COM) –  At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Tyler Trovillion of Richardson made for one mighty Marine. But six years ago, an Improvised Explosive Device took the 23-year-old serviceman down with four others from his unit in Ramaadi, Iraq.

“The hardest part is if I focus on my personal loss; the loss of the person I love so very much, part of me, part of my life,” said his mother, Gina Trovillion.

One focus for her this Memorial Day is on the life-like portrait of her son from the American Fallen Soldiers Project. The nonprofit organization paints portraits of men and women who lost their lives on the battlefield for their grieving families.

“That is a portrait I can look at and not mourn, but rejoice and be grateful and thankful because I see my son’s life in those eyes,” Trovillion said.

She is grateful, too, for his sacrifice.

“To God for giving us these people that have protected our freedom, that they were willing to do that for us,” she said.

Ben Lively was Tyler’s best friend in the Platoon. Both were at the front lines. Lively has been out of the Marines four-and-a-half years now. But he hasn’t forgotten his friend.

Lively wears a reminder with the date Tyler Trovillion was killed in action.

“I wear this bracelet every day. I think about him,” Lively said.

For Ben Lively, every day is Memorial Day.

“Just remember that there’s sacrifice. There’s people right now making sacrifices, possibly dying for us,” he said.

Tyler Trovillion’s mother thinks it’s time to tell the next generation a message: Honor a soldier, especially on Memorial Day.

“To get that generation to appreciate it we have to tell them that we appreciate it,” Gina Trovillion said.

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