MISSION, Texas — For Mario Ybarra Jr., losing his dad eight days before his first birthday has been a life-long pain.
His dad, Mario Ybarra, died during the Vietnam War in 1966 and never got to see his son grow up.
“How can I say goodbye if I didn’t even get the chance to say hello,” Ybarra Jr. said.
This day is about remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for us, he added.
“For me it’s a day of acknowledging the what-ifs? What if I would’ve had the chance to know him, how would my life have been if he would’ve survived.”
His story inspired Genesis Nava, an Edcouch-Elsa teen to write a song about how he felt losing his dad to war.
“We had gone to one of his events one of his speeches and he had talked about saying goodbye to someone you never say hello to and at eleven years old that kind of just stuck with me and when we got home that night I started jotting down a bunch of lyrics,” said Nava.
“Tell Me How” is a song with a profound message about losing a loved one in the military.
Nava said the moment she heard Ybarra say the words “how can I say goodbye if I haven’t said hello,” she knew she had to make a song right away.
“What I’m talking about in the song is how hard it is to say goodbye to someone you’ve never said hello to and you know this is a really hard thing for people to go through,” she added. “I really hope this song helps people get through whatever pain they’re feeling when it comes to losing somebody.”
On Memorial Day, Nava released a new version of her song “Tell Me How” on her Facebook page honoring those who lost their lives protecting ours.