CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- ParadeRest has a mission to honor and appreciate the sacrifice of military service members and military families, past, present and future. 

The organization provides ways to engage military personnel and their families with the local community.

It is made up of veterans, non-veterans, and representatives of the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville community. 

Gregory Saathoff, the co-founder and a professor at UVA, says ParadeRest has expanded into an organization that engages in events supporting veterans and their families.

Along with those who have already served, ParadeRest looks to also honor those preparing to serve.

This includes events like when Air Force ROTC students at UVA experienced insight from a 101-year-old World War II pilot who flew 36 missions over Germany. 

ParadeRest also recognizes the fallen with its program, Finding the Fallen, which honors local soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

“More than just a name on a list, on a list of names,” said Saathoff. “We want to demonstrate that these were very important members of the county, the city, the university, who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.”

The stories of past and future veterans are all around. From the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial to University Avenue, Saathoff encourages everyone to look beyond history books and talk to veterans in the community. 

“One not just look and find history in books, also in our very environment and in those who are sitting next to us and have a story to tell and just have us ask," he said.