Veterans honored at dinner in Stafford on Marine Corps birthday

STAFFORD, Texas – James Moriarty addressed the audience with a frankness that spoke to the pain he and his family have endured over the past year.

"I'm sure I'm not the only parent who's lost a son or daughter in war,” he said before an audience at the Red Neck Country Club, in Stafford.

The venue hosted a birthday celebration Friday, commemorating the 242nd anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Moriarty, a prominent Houston attorney and Marine who fought in the Vietnam War, served as the night’s keynote speaker. Moriarty used the time to reflect on his son, Staff Sgt. Jimmy Moriarty, who was killed in the line of duty in November 2016, while stationed in Jordan.

"Jimmy affected hundreds of people's lives and he continues to affect hundreds of people’s lives,” Moriarty said, reflecting on his son’s legacy.

Jimmy Moriarty, affectionately known as Jimbo, served his country with pride. He was a graduate of Strake Jesuit High School in southwest Houston. He also studied economics at the University of Texas at Austin, before enlisting in the Army. A Green Beret, Moriarty served three tours of duty in Jordan as a member of U.S. Special Forces. Moriarty was in Jordan when, on Nov. 4, 2016, he and two other servicemen were killed.

Staff Sgt. Jimmy Moriarty was 27 years old.

A Jordanian soldier was eventually convicted of murder, following months of questions from the Moriarty family.

"Jimmy was the most successful person I've ever known at that age of living his life to his values," said his father.

The past year has not been easy for the Moriarty family, in part because of how Jimmy was killed, but also because they were forced to say goodbye so soon. Through their pain, the Moriarty family hopes to honor others: those who, like Jimmy, gave the ultimate sacrifice.

"I think it's tremendously important to remember our heroes," James Moriarty said, "but it's also important to remember the people who honor our heroes. Because if their memories go on, their lives go on."