My thoughts are with our Army son, James today. He is the officer in charge of the personal effects of a soldier who died in a motorcycle crash. So sad. My heart goes out to the parents who did not like motorcycles, and did not want their son to get one, and then to get the news. The worst news ever---that the son you raised, and taught, and hauled everywhere, should lose his life like this. This soldier had been in the Army probably six or eight years, and probably experienced a couple of deployments, so these parents have suffered enough with that.
James let us know about this sad duty in an email asking for prayer for the soldier's family. We called and talked to him, and Bob was able to relate his experiences from when he reviewed reports of a soldier that died in a motorcycle accident when he was in the Army. Bob was able to talk to our son about the importance of securing property so that it does not get stolen. And keeping good records. The paperwork must be staggering.
When we raised our sons, and as Andy and James went through college, and ROTC, we wondered if they were being prepared sufficiently for the hard things they might face in the military. I wonder if they ever got briefed on this. Andy, our firstborn in the Air Force has experienced a lot of funeral duty. And while hard, his job as been at the graveside with grieving veterans and retirees families. So James' duty is a little different, and sadly, it probably won't be the last time. Motorcycle and traffic accidents are too common. Too frequent.
Our sons know they are being evaluated at each job, each responsibility, and they are learning life lessons beyond things we have ever had to experience....lessons I am sure God will use again in the future so that they can turn around and comfort someone going through this or something similar.
As a parent, you hate to see your sons go through tough days like today, but we are proud of them, and are so thankful they share a little bit of it so that we can pray more intelligently.
And with hard days, there will be days of joy and laughter. On the radio here today, WBAP is highlighting the story of a 19 year old soldier in Afghanistan who called his folks with the news that his picture was on the front page of the New York Times. In a firefight, SPC Boyd only had time to grab his helmet, flak jacket and weapon. And the photographer caught a picture of his bright pink boxers sporting the print: I love New York.
So, as my son deals with the sad duty today, I hope he learns some good things, some silly, and funny things about SSG B. I hope SSG B. is remembered for more than one mistake on gravel. And I hope SSG B's life helps others to slow down, be more careful, and know you leave grieving parents and a grateful nation for your service.