By now, they should have been veterans.
Tech Sgt. Tim Weiner should be 41, retired from the Air Force, living near his brothers also veterans in Colorado.
Sgt. Adam Cann should be 30, out of the U.S. Marines, maybe back home in Broward County, settled down with one of his many pretty girlfriends.
Instead, they are the lost sons of parents whose pain has hardly abated since their combat deaths in Iraq: Cann in 2006, Weiner in 2007, both after multiple deployments.
Over the years, Leigh and Carol Cann of Davie, and Marcia Weiner Fenster and Pierre Fenster of Lauderhill, have sought emotional comfort in military-related projects.
This Veterans Day, they can add the physical comfort of handmade quilts created in their sons honor by a national network called Home of the Brave Quilts.
So far, the group has created and presented 5,365 quilts, based on a Civil War-era pattern, to families of the fallen.
On Thursday, the Canns and Fensters met, for the first time, at Holman Honda in Fort Lauderdale, where Home of the Braves Florida coordinator presented their quilts. They embraced and cried, bonding over a loss unique to those who have seen somber military officers on their front porches and known, without being told, that their lives would never be the same.
I think they would have been good buddies, Marcia Fenster told Leigh Cann.
Also on hand: Angela Adkins and Dana Rankin, the Holman Automotive Group employees who crafted the quilts, square by square, for heartbroken strangers.
Sgt. Adam Leigh Cann was the middle of three boys, born Jan. 25, 1982. He died 20 days shy of his 24th birthday, on Jan. 6, 2006, when a suicide bomber detonated outside a police recruiting center in Ramadi, Iraq.
He was assigned to Security Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, in California. His unit was attached to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force.
Adam and his bomb-detecting dog Bruno were patrolling a crowd when Bruno alerted to the bomber. Adam placed himself against the man, forcing the explosion sideways.
Hes credited with saving Bruno, fellow U.S. fighters and police headquarters. Its believed that the bomber planned to detonate inside the building.
A U.S. Army officer died, along with 37 Iraqis. Bruno, a German shepherd, later retired to California, where he died at age 7.
Tech Sgt. Timothy R. Weiner was one of four brothers in the active-duty military in the mid-2000s. They have a civilian sister. He was born May 27, 1971, and left a wife and son.
He served in an elite EOD unit: Explosive Ordnance Disposal (bomb disposal). Besides his work in war zones, Tim was part of top-secret security details.
He joked to his mother that the president of the United States couldnt use a restroom until hed declared it safe.
Thats power! he crowed.
He and two other EODs from the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron, based at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, died Jan. 7, 2007, near Camp Liberty, trying to disarm a car bomb.
Adam Cann, a passionate Miami Dolphins fan, was always active and spirited, said his father, who raised his children alone, after a divorce, then remarried. He was really funny. He had this laugh to make you smile. And he was a leader among his friends. A lot of people were attracted to him.