THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Taking part in Thomasville's Memorial Day Parade for the first time Monday, Amanda Jacobs said she was overwhelmed to see how many people came to line the streets.
“People consider it a small town, but they have a big heart. They have not forgotten my son and so many other veterans,” she said, smiling.
Jacobs held tightly to her son's folded flag during the ceremony at Cushwa Stadium Monday afternoon. Since his death in December 2011, Jacobs has made it her mission to share her son's story.
"Every morning God wakes me up, he's got a purpose for me, and that's to tell Jacob's story and other fallen heroes' stories that I've met and keep them alive," she said.
Lance Cpl. Christopher Phoenix Jacob Levy volunteered for a second deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. A Marine and designated marksman, Jacobs said her son worked hard to protect members of his patrol.
"When they were on patrol, as long as Jacob's boots were behind them they knew they were safe," she said.
After going on patrol in a hot spot, Jacobs said her son was shot in the head and flown to Germany for surgery.
"I got to hear his heart beat one more time and see him breathing and that gave me closure," she said.
Jacobs said through organ donation, her son was able to help seven people.
Standing beside his grave in Julian, she said she visits to talk with her son, bring flowers and replace the flag when it fades.
"Here lately the conversation I've been having with him is that his baby brother leaves June 11 for the Army National Guard," she said.
Jacobs said it's not easy to let her youngest enlist, but she knows it's the same calling her son had years ago.
"He knew what the risks were, he knew what could happen, and he still chose to do it," she said.
Jacobs now works with Honor Brewing Company based in Chantilly, Virginia, sharing stories of other fallen veterans.
A flag retirement program has been named for Levy in Guilford County.