Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day.

Last December, I flew to Scottsdale and surprised my dad for his 60th birthday. My brother, Bryan, and I had planned the trip for months and couldn't wait to spend the day with dad celebrating his life and spending some time together.

A day before we were supposed to leave, Bryan called to say he couldn't make it. He is a Navy SEAL and a friend of his, a buddy from his old platoon, had been killed in Iraq. Instead of celebrating with us, he would be attending to the funeral services of this young man.

While dad and I were at lunch, he called.

He had spent the previous day accepting the body of this young soldier at an airfield in Vermont and escorting him back to D.C. where he would be laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. He cried as he told us about the man's amazing family and the difficulty of performing the uniform inspection on the body of a young friend who died so courageously.

Hearing him on the phone, my dad broke down at the table and wept. He wept for his son who had made him so proud by forgoing the good for the best. Who had set his face as flint and come back unscathed from war only to walk another family through the heartbreak we had dreaded. Who he loved not because of all of the honorable things he had done or the medals that hung on his chest, but for the son he had been and the one he had become.

We're so thankful for Bryan and the men and women like him who live lives in noble service to our country.

Have a blessed Memorial Day.


Kim said...

Please tell your brother thank you for me. I am in awe of the men and women who serve knowing the price that may be asked of them. They are far braver and more noble than I.

Sharon said...

What a powerful post for Memorial Day. God bless our soldiers AND their families!!!! Thank you for sharing.

Rachel said...

Beautiful post.
It brought tears to my eyes and chills to my arms.
Thank him for us all.

emily said...

Bryan is a freaking stud! I am so proud of him and all the many others that protect our freedoms.

Kate said...

Shew! Such a powerful reminder of the great COST of FREEDOM...thank you for sharing. My heart aches for the loss of this brave soldier. We remember them all...and we thank them with all our hearts! BIG THANKS to your brother, I am sure y'all are bursting with love and pride. :)