Our Fallen Hereos

23 Jun

Lance Cpl. Jason Hill, 20                                     Lance Cpl. Sean M.N. O’Connor, 22

Lance Cpl. Joshua B McDaniels, 21                 Capt. Michael W Newton, 30

Pfc. Matthew J. England, 22                               Cpl. Matthew T. Richard, 21

Spc. Emiio J. Campo Jr., 20                                Spc. Michael B. Cook Jr., 27

Spc. Christopher B. Fishbeck, 24                      Spc. Robert P. Hartwich, 20

Pfc. Michael C. Olivieri, 26                                  Cpl. William J Woltowicz, 23

Have you ever heard the names of these men before today? You likely would have if you listened to the news, “5 soldiers are confirmed dead in Southern Afghanistan, making this the deadliest month since Operation Enduring Freedom began.” Sadly too many Americans provide more attention to who Ashley voted out of the Bachelorette than those who lost their lives protecting our freedom.

After we hear the news that another soldier died, what do we do? Flip to another channel? Take a bathroom break? Finish a conversation with our kids or our spouse? Next time you hear of another casualty at war pay attention to your reaction. You will probably find we go on about our day not thinking about who these young men and women are or about the loved ones they leave behind who will be grieving the rest of their lives. We may take a moment of silence, say a prayer, selfishly think “what if”, and/or sigh a heavy relief that it is not our family affected by this tragedy – but do we ever think about them again? Did we even take the time to find out their names?  Today I did.

I researched one particular solider who was just 23 when he died.  He was only 13 when the war began. Today he was flown to the base I live on and taken to his final resting place. There were police officers and a few military members and their dependents waiting to greet, salute, and pay respect to the fallen solider. He had a home town welcome and the love and appreciation for his sacrifice was noticeable and felt by his family, but one thing bothered me.  Hardly anyone stationed at this base came out to show their respects.

Earlier in the morning I suspected a fallen soldier would be arriving on the base due to the motorcade of police I saw coming through the gate. I checked the base website and facebook page to see if there was any information posted. When I did not see any postings I assumed I was wrong and I went out sightseeing with my Mother-In-Law. I was 20 minutes away when I got the text “fallen soldier coming through in 15 minutes.” When I received the text I was irritated beyond reason. When I found out he was greeted along the streets of our base by only a small group of people my irritation turned to deep sadness.

We may not know this soldier, but he was a young man who died for our freedoms and he deserves to have every available man and woman on this base to be standing along side the road saluting him as he passes by. He deserves so much more for we “all give some but he gave all”. He died – our lunch gathering can wait a few minutes.

Fallen Solider, I did not know who you were until today, but you left a lasting imprint in my heart. You have given the ultimate sacrifice for me and my family and I thank you for your courage and unselfishness.May God bless you and keep you in his arms.

It is my deepest hope that when you are honored with the opportunity to thank a fallen solider, you stop what you are doing in life and stand in unity to pay your respect.

~Written by Heather Potter~


3 Responses to “Our Fallen Hereos”

  1. Kelly Larson, MBA June 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    ~Facebook Reply~ Good post…never thought about it…Actually didn’t know they sent out messages stating they were coming in…I’ve never seen them…Thanks for sharing!

  2. heather June 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    After writing this I did see pictures of this young man getting off the plane and he was greeted by many police and active duty military members. Although he came through base on a quiet day with most of us unaware I feel better after seeing the show of support at the airport.

    • Kelly Larson, MBA June 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

      So glad to hear! However, your brought to our attention a sad but true action by so many Americans. How many people actually stop and do anything when they hear of a Soldier’s death? I only wish more people did more for these brave men and women!

      Thank you Heather for a great article!!

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