Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Final Goodbye

"The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of "Cat," and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. "I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it," she said. "I think that's what he would have wanted."
© 2005 Rocky Mountain News, Photo by Todd Heisler. http://www.pulitzer.org/year/2006/feature-photography/works/

First and foremost, my heartfelt and deepest sympathy goes out to the wives and families of these heroes. As a husband and father, I take great comfort knowing that if my life would have been required of me while fighting in Iraq, that my wife would have been given the same comfort and protection that Mrs. Cathy was given. It troubles me greatly that there are some in this country who put forth that my brother's deaths are some how the Almighty's retribution for America's moral decline. May I remind those misguided among us who argue this, that the same God said, "Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends." But that's another issuealtogetherr and right now, one which I don't care to debate.

On a personal note, in earlier posts I wrote about the changes that one goes through after experiencing war...the baggage that one brings home with him. It's a struggle and it has been for me...on many different levels. I've spoken to so many others who were "over there" and in at least one aspect, we all share the same feelings; we could have done so much more while we were there. None of us wanted to die over there; all of us were willing. But when we hear/see/read about the ones who are either still there or the ones who come home in a flag-draped casket, and we are now living a life of comparative ease, somehow it just doesn't seem fair. I've resigned myself to the fact that for as long as Marines are in Iraq, a part of me will feel like I belong there fighting with them. If I were still there, I don't have a single doubt that there would be 178,000 other Marines who want to be fighting right there beside me. We are a band of brothers and none of us would have it any other way.

Linked @ http://barbette.blogspot.com/


Barb said...

Katherine Cathey and all the wives of our fallen heroes are amazing people, and I know that the Marine community will watch out for her in many ways. And for her son, James Jr. - may he grow up with stories of his father's love and sacrifice.

Semper Gratus, from all of us who live under the blanket of the freedoms for wich you fight.

Kat said...

I know very little comparatively speaking and every day I wished that I was younger, fitter or had chosen the military as a career back then so I could be there with you all.


Anonymous said...

I hadn't checked your blog in a while, but this post is incredibly touching (not that your others arent but )this one is just amazing. I did also click through the links to the other photos. I do wish more people saw your writing. thank you,

karin said...

Awesome post...I always love to hear how you are doing. As Kat said, I too wish I was younger etc and had chosen the military, but we all have our life paths and work given to us to accomplish during our time here. I am grateful that I am allowed the honor of supporting those who serve and fight for our country (as a Soldiers Angel as well as other venues)
As always words fail to incompass the gratitude I feel for you and all who serve. May God continue to bless you and yours.