EDGEWOOD, Iowa — Long before her son died, Jolene Niehaus started decorating her family’s Christmas tree with miniature American flags and lights of red, white and blue. But once Marine Sgt. Eric Ausborn was gone, it just made sense to honor the tradition.
In early December, the 10-foot white spruce stood in the Niehaus family’s sunroom, overlooking more than 100 acres of snow-covered farm and timberland in northeastern Iowa. Jolene placed a large red ornament with the Marine Corps emblem and Eric’s name written at the top. His stocking hung next to those of his three sisters and stepfather.
Photo: Oscar Lorona