I just came from a viewing of a local service member who died from traumatic brain injuries he received a year ago in Iraq. Ethan Biggers graduated from our local high school in 2003. He was so young. In the year since his injuries (which he never regained consciousness from), Ethan got married, had a son (Eben) born, lost his father in a tragic car wreck and inspired countless people to prayer!
It has been a hard day. Forgive me as I ramble.
This will be my first funeral of a service member. I told myself on the way home that I needed to get thicker skin. I am a mess. Weepy, unfocused, emotional - the funeral is tomorrow, a year to the day from Ethan's injury.
I came home to find an article in the local newspaper about how America's support for the yellow ribbons is waining. Waining.....please tell me they are kidding! Every day we are burying the best of the best in this country. Every day so many of our young service members put themselves in harms way - knowingly! The emotion of this reality is really exhausting.
I saw so much to love about this country today. I saw Blue Star Mothers standing next to Ethan's mom - each one having a son or daughter who is serving and in harm's way. I saw Vietnam Vet's standing in lines outside the funeral home, despite freezing cold temperatures, each holding a large flag and paying tribute to this young hero. I saw Army family who had traveled from afar to pay tribute to their fallen comrade and his family who were so stalwart and constant.
I still can't believe that everyone is maintaining life as normal. We've lost a soldier. I just can't put into words the depth of the loss I feel. How can you feel so empty and so full of pain and love??? I am so incredibly grateful to all those families that are sacrificing so much - distance, separation, missed birthdays, readjustments, fear, pain, pride .....you name it! God bless our Military!
Please honor Ethan and his family tomorrow - fly that beautiful Red, White and Blue!