She talked to her son a week before he died. “He called home and talked to everyone,” she said.
Jimmy Ray Cain was on a peacekeeping mission in Beirut following the invasion by of Lebanon by Israel in 1982. McDowell said the troops there were not carrying weapons.
“He went out on patrols and patched up kids who were hit by sniper fire,” she said.
The family received Cain’s body on Nov. 17, after he was escorted home by long-time family friend Chris Conn.
“The city of Gardendale was wonderful to us during that time,” McDowell said.
“God has reasons for everything,” she said. “I’m just believing God is going to bless this (memorial ride and event) because it’s going for such a good cause.”
McDowell said volunteers are needed for the event. For more information, call her at 965-1617 or 590-4100.
Those who would like to make donations are invited to make checks to Wounded Warrior Family Foundation and mail them to 441 Hwy. 31 N, Warrior, AL 35068.
“My main goal is that these young men are remembered,” said McDowell. “The military, the ones that are left here alive, are the ones who need our help.”
There is also an account at IberiaBank in Fultondale where individuals can make donations to the Wounded Warriors Family Foundation.
Note: This version of the article corrects the spelling of two of the bombing victims' names.