A Soldier Died Today

I debated about writing this and posting it. It, of course, struck very close to home for me. As some of you know, Will was home a couple of weeks ago. He’s going through his own personal brand of hell, so I didn’t say much about it. It was so hard to watch him leave again. I tried to be strong and smile. I was somewhat successful until he walked out of sight.

As parents of soldiers, we don’t ask for much. Respect for our loved ones. Respect for the sacrifices they make. Our prayers are simple, “Please, God, bring him home safe.”

If they must make the ultimate sacrifice, acknowledge what they did. Honor them. Remember them in your prayers. Your lives will go on. Theirs will not. As parents, there is a part of our lives that will end also. The pain will lessen, but it will never go away. Is that not worth just a moment of your time to say thank you?

A solder died today. Unless you happened to catch a brief glimpse of a trailer on a news program or caught it in a Twitter campaign started by his father, you probably didn’t know.

Even when the DOD releases the information, you probably won’t hear it. It’s not really that important. If anything, you will hear a brief blurb about statistics and Obama’s strategy.

Mostly, you will hear about the death of a celebrity who died last week, presumably from a drug induced heart attack. You will hear from anyone and everyone who ever knew him. You’ll see impassioned pleas from his father about his record company. You’ll see reporters desperate to find any crumb to spark more interest. Hundreds of people on the street will be interviewed with emotional testimonials on how the celebrity changed their lives. I expect at any time to see reporters asking what people were wearing when they heard the news about the celebrity’s death.

Normally on Independence Day, we see patriotic displays. People remember those who fought to attain and keep our independence. Firemen, policemen and public servants are remembered. None of those people were important this year and the once a year salute is precious little as it is.

I’ve always thought teachers like Tiffany Schmidt deserved much more credit and appreciation than they get. I follow her twitters and I’m constantly amazed at how much she cares for her students and the lengths she goes to so they will enjoy learning. Now, multiply those students by a lifetime of teaching. It is astounding to think of the possibilities of changed lives for these children because of a teacher like this. Now there is something to celebrate.

You didn’t see endless interviews or pictures of these teachers on television? You didn’t see a float in the parade dedicated to teachers like Tiffany? I didn’t either.

Of all the people who truly make a difference, we saw nothing.

A soldier died today.

I cried when I read the brief notes his father posted.

They killed my son, Aaron!

He was minding his own business BS-ing with an Officer on base in Afghanistan…

When a suicide bomber, driving a truck breached the perimiter and pushed the button…

On Independence Day, a few hours ago, they killed my son, Aaron in Afghanistan.

I’d like to see “Thank you, Aaron,” show up on the Trending Topics for giving his life on Independence Day in Afghanistan.

A soldier died today.

He was someone’s son. Someone’s brother. Someone’s friend. He liked Pringles and dirt bikes. He was a soldier because he chose to be one.

His MySpace account said this:

Hey my name is Aaron Fairbairn, I am 20 and in the army. I like to ride dirtbikes, go muddin and all of that kind of stuff. One of my favorite things to do is work on my truck when I break it. I have a yamaha yz 125 I haven’t got to ride it much because of work but i plan to go race it sometime.

Aaron Fairbairn’s family received the news we all dread. Their local newspaper will run a story on him and most likely have a picture of him in his uniform. His family will look at the baby pictures. The pictures of him with a pet or a sibling. Perhaps they have pictures of him in a sports uniform or a picture of him and his prom date. The last picture in his album will probably be of a flag-draped coffin.

A soldier died today. Did anyone know? Did anyone care?

God’s peace to your families, Aaron and Justin.


  1. I care. And everyone should.

    My son-in-law is a naval aviator, and when he finishes his training, he will be spending time in very dangerous places. When I think of it, I’m proud and worried sick all at once. Mostly I’m grateful to everyone who serves to protect this country.

  2. Linda, that is exactly the feeling. We can’t help but feel proud of our loved ones, but fear is our constant companion. We need to recognize it for what it is and take control. We need to think positive thoughts and not dwell on the negative.

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