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Sgt. Robert Gordon. Sgt. 1st Class Bradley Bohle. Cpl. Timothy Murray.
Those are just three of the more than 2,200 names of the military members killed in Afghanistan that Ron White has set to memory in an incredible personal tribute, NBC 5 reports. The Navy veteran, who served as an intelligence specialist, is currently touring the U.S. with a 50-foot dry-erase board on which he writes each name he’s memorized at every stop, according to the NY Daily News.
"It's just made me grasp the scope of the sacrifice," White told the Star-Telegram. "When you see all those names written out in one place ... I don't think people realize how many there are until they see that."
But even for this memory champion, who's been featured on television for his skills and set the world record for memorizing a shuffled deck of cards, this project has been a daunting feat. It took him 10 months to set in his mind the name and rank of each of the men and women who were killed in Afghanistan, he told the Telegram.
But the mind-bending project has already proved worthwhile. White, who toured Afghanistan in 2007, debuted the wall in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. It’s working to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project and to give the surviving family members a meaningful place to mourn.
Mayranne Buckner, who lost her grandson PFC Austin Stagg in the war, was one visitor who was particularly moved by the memorial.
“It made me real happy,” she told NBC 5, “to think that someone is still thinking about our boys that gave their lives.