How You Can Help

We would like to thank the media outlets who have taken an interest in and picked up the story. Our biggest thanks are to all of you who have contacted us with feed back and offers of help. Your emails have been inspiring and greatly appreciated.

For those who want to help, we currently have two ways.

First, we need website volunteers. Currently PreserveandHonor only lists whether the fallen hero was a Purple Heart recipient. We would like to expand our database to show all awards received by each hero. Volunteers can help by “browsing” our database photographs and noting awards shown for each hero. Volunteers can also check for spelling errors by comparing what is on the photograph of each grave marker with the information we have recorded. If you are interested in assisting this effort, please email us at [email protected] We will provide you with an easy to use spreadsheet to record the information and then email back to us.

Second, only fraction of our fallen heroes who served in the Global War on Terror are buried at Arlington . With your help we can include those who are buried else where. If you have heroes from the Global War on Terror who are buried in your hometown or nearby, please send us an email at [email protected] with:

  • The name of the cemetery
  • The town and state where it is located (and address if available)
  • The grave number or location within the cemetery (military cemeteries record the grave number on the back of each marker)
  • A close-up photograph of the grave marker so that we can clearly read the inscription. You can use our photographs as an example. Also, please take all photographs in the portrait position (vertical).

Most importantly, please remember to respect the grief of loved ones and friends who may be visiting the cemetery you are helping to document.

Again, we are profoundly grateful for all your support. For those of you who want to make a donation, we ask that you donate to or

51 Responses to “How You Can Help”

  1. Linda

    I just wanted to tell you what a wonderful thing you are doing. I will ask my oldest son if he is interested in volunteering on your website. He loves the military and has a great interest in our heros. He is currently in Marine JROTC at his high school. Again, awesome job!! I’m sure your mother is very proud of you!

  2. Angela C

    I read about your website in the LA Times this morning. I’m so proud of you and what you are able to do for the people of our country. It is very very inspirational. I hope this story will be shared all over the world so people will understand what USA is about.

  3. Gina Hartmann

    Just saw your story on The Fox Report w/ Shepard Smith. BRAVO ZULU to you, young. Mr. Gilliland! SO PROUD of what you are doing!! Are you home schooled? PLEASE START A FACEBOOK FAN PAGE so the word about your efforts gets out and more support pours in! Grateful thanks and God’s blessings to you!

  4. Linda Lundstrom

    What a wonderful and selfless project you have begun. I just watched (and re-watched) your segment on Shep Smith’s show. Having visited Arlington last summer, I can not imagine the hours you have spent on thhis. I have no relatives by blood there, but feel they all are our brothers and sisters. God bless you!

  5. Cheryl Russell

    Thank you so much for taking on this incredibly valuabled project. Everything you have done to date has so much heart and passion. You are a great example of what someone at any age can do when there is vision and commitment. I am grateful the media is giving you the attention you and Preserve and Honor deserves. I will be featuring you in my upcoming blog to express “Thank You’s in the News” to people who are out there doing fantastic deeds to help make a difference in our world. Again, many, many thanks!

  6. Linda Forrester

    Thank you for the work you are doing! I have no one in the War On Terror
    in my immediate family…but that does not mean that I am not immune to what
    is going on in the war!
    I was only 4 when WWII ended, but my Dad went, and I know how it felt!
    I am so impressed that someone your age is taking on a project that should
    have been thought about, and handled by our military leaders!
    Sadly they have dropped the ball for this assignment that is so close to peoples
    hearts! It is a tragedy that will go down in history! The problems at Arlington!
    You, and your site are helping balance out their dereliction to duty for our hero’s!!
    Thank you young man…you give all of us hope for a better world though our up, and coming young!

  7. Dani

    A friend of mine linked the LA Times article about you, on facebook, and of course I had to click. I’ve been writing to deployed servicemen for nearly a year now, through Tell Them Thanks and have made some good friends from it, and the story about you just made me cry. You’re such an amazing young man, and an excellent person! Keep up your fabulous work!

  8. Mary

    Keep up the good work. We must not forget the ones who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. Thank you for doing this.

  9. Navy CAPT

    I am still on active duty and a veteran of Operations DESERT SHIELD, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM. Without focusing on stark contrast to the failure of official agencies who should have provided this service long ago, I was moved to tears when I read the story and saw the work being done for this website. Your sense of what matters and what is important is commendable by itself, but the fact that you have found a way to make such a powerful and meaningful gesture of dignity and reverence to our fallen and their families is remarkable. I am speechless beyond being able to say, thank you.

  10. Dwight Purdy

    I just learned of your project through the NAUS (National Association for Uniformed Services) newsletter. It is an admirable undertaking and a valuable one. Thank you for your efforts and indeed you will also be remembered as someone who cared – and acted.

  11. Don Decker

    I just read the Tribune article about your incredible mission. I’m getting ready to read it to my 8 year old son. If he becomes half the many that you are Ricky I will be extremely proud. In an age of too many people asking what their country can do for them you are showing us all what you can do for your country. Congratulations to you and to the parents who raised you.

    If you are an example of our future leaders, my confidence might be restored.

  12. Sally Pavia

    Ricky, I’ve sent the Tribune article about what you’ve been doing out to everyone on my mailing list. It’s definitely something all should know about. You’ve done a wonderful job; something the Army/government should have done a long time ago. Your parents much be VERY proud of you.

    Too many people don’t give teenagers credit for all they do. I’m sure you’re a wonderful example of our future leaders.

  13. Laurie Migliore

    What an amazing young man and future leader. I am currently an active duty AF Maj and a nurse. Having a long history of supporting grieving families I can say that your efforts and accomplishments are much more than a “project” or website. Your contributions allow the lives of the fallen to live on in memory and provide a virtual means for family and friends to visit their loved ones. You have taken the gift of technology and multimedia and created a sacred and meaningful place of honor for all to navigate. God Bless You and the parents who raised an amazing son.

  14. Lee Smith

    Mr. Gilleland,

    I am both humbled and amazed at both the skill of your computer abilites and your perserverance in this gigantic undertaking. As an Air Force veteran of 22 years (disabled) I salute you as do, I’m sure, many other veterans as well. As a Programmer, your abilities far exceed mine of 30 + years.
    I would gladly assist an any way you might find and you may contact me at me email address in this small token of thanks.

    Aim High My friend

  15. Connie Culver


    I am reading an article of your project in The Daily Sun Newspaper published in The Villages, Fl. (Central Florida)
    What a wonderful idea and concept you are putting into action to honor our fallen heroes. My husband served 33 years in the Air Force and so the military is very close to our hearts.
    Several years ago, we went to visit the Arlington Memorial and as we rode through the cemetary, I can remember the “still and awesome presence” of respect and honor in that place. As though the angels of heaven were keeping guard over the precious souls of our fallen heroes.
    I want you to know that as I looked through your project, I felt that same “still and awesome presence”. The project that you have taken on is full of honor and respect, someone’s life, and memories, for the men and women who have served and fallen as well as the families. Putting names and faces to our Country’s Heroes brings it a lot closer to our own lives and reminds us to pray for our Warriors and pray for our Country. God Bless You Ricky and thank you.

  16. Connie Culver

    Please make a link that we might be able to share this with our facebook and/or twitter friends. God Bless You.

  17. Allen Wheatley

    First of all I commend you and those that will support your effort. Our veterans have earned our respect. They have put their lives on the line for us so that we may have freedom.

    I’d also like to know what you had to do to get access to the Arlington National Cemetery. I was asked to leave the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery just because I was taking pictures and threatened with arrest if I took more pictures.


  18. PJ Davis

    I commend you for taking on such a remarkable project. You have established an eternal tribute to our fallen soldiers, one in which their eternal legacy will live on. Remembering theses soldiers is a supportive gesture for the family and friends they left behind. Your project is also valuable in showing the allegiance and devotion these soldiers had for the USA and for the rights of everyone in the world! Your commitment to the Preserve and Honor project is admirable. Thank you and carry on….

  19. Billy Stair

    Thank you for doing this. I am a U.S. Army Veteran (Disabled) of Desert Storm and while i was lucky and returned home a great many of my brother were not as fortunate. Your work is appreciated and lets NEVER FORGET our brothers that gave all. Thank you..

  20. peter


    on an outstanding site. Very, very well done.

    I just watched the article on CNN about this website and I feel the need to make one very small, but hugely important correction.

    Those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor are NEVER, EVER, EVER winners of that medal, they are RECIPIENTS. It’s a hugely important distinction.

    The main reason for it is that those individuals were not in the situation were they were in a race. It was not something that they were out to “win”. It’s way, way, way beyond that.

    I hope you haven’t minded me pointing this out to you.

    Take care, have a wonderful memorial day weekend and keep up the outstanding work that you do for this.

  21. Don Barnes

    Ricky…I am a disabled Vietnam veteran and I come from a family with many military veterans, most whom have passed on, including my father and brother. I respect, admire and appreciate so much what you are doing for your fellow man. Your parents must be very proud of you for taking the initaitive to do what you are doing, as they have every right to be. I am a member of LeFlore county Oklahoma chapter 63 of the Disabled American Veterans. I want to create a website for the families of our county veterans who have made the supreme sacrifice. And, I am not as computer knowledgable as I would like to be. But, I was wondering if you would please contact me with the name of the program or software you are using to create your site with ?
    I want to do what you are doing for the residents of this county only. Thanks again for all you are doing and may God bless you always.

  22. Lori Cheever-Schmerler

    I saw the CNN interview, and I had to reply, in a world of reality TV and young people being self serving. I appreciate the thoughtfulness as a young man to undertake this project. My own young Son who is presently in the Air Force, is in my thoughts daily reminding me of the sacrifices that the Military and their families are making and of those Heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice. God bless you and God bless America…

  23. Ruby

    I just learned about your website on CNN. I certainly think our government should take note and give you the “metal of honor” Thank you and God bless you! I am sure you will get the needed volunteers. I am a peace time vet. age 74 and not able to help with the hi-tech stuff, but certainly appreciate you.

  24. Don Hooper

    God Bless you for seeing the world as it is, and deciding to make a difference.

  25. Debra Harlander

    On behalf of the citizens of the United States of America, Thank You for what you are doing. You may never know how many lives you will touch with your efforts. I have not lost a family member in the Global War on Terror, but we do have very close friends who have. When I searched Elisha Parker’s name and saw the photograph you took my heart was grateful. I am going to pass on your site to Eli’s parents. Thank you so very much and may God bless you for your efforts.

  26. Sherry and Mike

    Hello Ricky,

    We saw your story on Fox News this Memorial Day morning..We are
    so proud of you and very impressed with your selflessness. The time you have spent on this project already is very moving. We know this means so much to so many families; ours included as we have had several family members serve and two die in service.What a wonderful way to make sure they are never forgotten..Our heartfelt thanks for your service to our great Nation..May God bless you as you have blessed so many others..

  27. Ian Reid

    Well done creating an excellent and respectful website. Every visit I make to DC always includes one to Arlington Cemetery, even though I live in the UK and have no relatives buried there, I feel it is the very least I can do out of a heart felt respect.
    I certainly share the sentiment that those from the USA who have fallen do so in the name of democracy and freedom everywhere in this world and I thank God that your country holds these standards so high.

  28. Greg Moore


    You embody the spirit of why I joined and served 20 years in the US Navy. Your selfless act is what this United States of America is all about. We fight and sacrifice for something we believe in and as you understand it is a difficult job to do especially when we see so many of our fellow American’s telling us we are wrong.
    I stand at attention and salute you for caring so deeply for my brothers and sisters that have been laid to rest and are now with their Lord.

    When you graduate from the Academy I will be proud to serve in your command.

    Greg Moore
    US Navy

  29. Jim Marsden

    As a former SOG member, it is with great respect on behalf of my family that we give our heartfelt gratitude for the mission you have undertaken. I have faced the grim task of losing four valuable friendships during Operation Iraqi Freedom and have been to the cemetary for all four. I salute you for allowing us to remember who and what these honorable and couragous men were and what they still stand for. I commend you for an outstanding and selfless act that shows true real Patriotism.
    God Bless you toung man!
    Team 2 –

  30. Paul Gardner

    I wanted to take a minute and just say thanks for the exemplary job you are doing! I know there must be many who would like to see the gravesite of their beloved hero. You are an example of what makes this country what it is,, great! I understand you are not doing this for financial support, but I also think, myself and others would like to make a contribution to you for your service!! I was not aware of your comment section earlier, great to have a comment section, where people could comment on your work,, the blessings you are giving others! Thank you, and may our God continue to Bless You and our great country..

  31. SFC Wagoner, Jamie D

    I just wanted to stop by and say thank you young man for what you are doing for each one of those brave men and women who lost their lives in support of this great country. As a currently serving member of the U.S. Army it is a great feeling of pride for me and my family to know that people still do care about what we do each day. Continue your great work young man and I have a feeling that if you truly want to get into the Naval Academy that you will. Thanks again for what you do! Army Strong! Hooah!

  32. Linda Agnese

    Just saw this on the news. I was awed by what “youth” can do! I have forwarded the site to friends who are Vietnam Vets, etc. They run many events here in NYC and Washington for all who serve and have served in our military. This is truly heart-warming. Continued success in all your goals to recognize those who protect our country!

  33. DKVJ

    Thank you, Ricky, for giving so generously of your time in this endeavor. Thank you for being an example that I can show to my kids of a young person selflessly making a difference. Thank you for showing your understanding of the importance of our military; of the debt owed by all of us.
    You are an inspiration, and I pray that you will be blessed as you are blessing others.

    If you are still in need of aid with your website, if there is something I can do to help, I would feel honored.

  34. Paul L.Brechbill

    I am a Veteran,73 Years young,having served in the ( 11th Airborne Division ),out
    of Fort Campbell,Ky.What you are doing,and have done,is remarkable,to say the least.
    Your Parents,have got to be so proud of you,for doing something,that even,the
    Federal Goverment,could not do ! I must say,you have put a Website,together,that is
    Respectfull,Loving and Caring,for every VETERAN,buried there.There Familys,will
    have something,to remember them by,for Years to come ! ! May God richly,bless you,
    in your Endever,for ALL Veterans.Sincerly,Paul L.Brechbill,Mid Atlantic Chapter,
    Secretary,Of the 11th Airborne Division Association

  35. Stacy

    Thank you for taking the time to remember and document all of those who have served our country. You are a shining example of what it means to be an American.

  36. Kurt M Glover

    Kudos to you for doing this project. I just saw this on the Fox Report, and it touched both my wife and I. I’m a Navy CB Veteran that saw active duty in the Persian Gulf while Iran and Iraq were at war in 1981-1985…I love my country very much and you apparently do as well. God bless you to the fullest!

  37. Deborah

    I’m impressed beyond words with your undertaking. As the daughter of a career Army man (30 yrs, WWII, Korea and Vietnam), I remember all too well in 1971 when Dad returned from a 1 year tour in Vietnam and our country treated him and his fellow solders with such disrespect. What you do today is the complete opposite and a 100% selfless act. Dad rests today in Section 60 among men and women he would have been proud to know. You have the true spirt of what it means to be an American. Duty, Honor, Country! God Speed in your endeavors and what I’m sure will be a distinguished life of service.

  38. slashsplat

    Thank you for your service to America. You are a true patriot. I will make a special donation to WWP in honor of your efforts. And on this Memorial Day, thanks to all those who have worked to keep our country free.

  39. Robert Dewey

    So many people have said so much, I just want to add my pride in what you’ve done! May God continue to bless, you.

  40. Jeremy Zadoka

    This website is a blessing and couldn’t be any better and I tell everyone I know to look at it and add anyone that they know. Thanks

  41. Janine Azeem

    53. of course like your website but you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll certainly come back again.

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