Having a retired Colonel as a boss and your own father as retired military certainly gives you a greater appreciation of those who have served our country. These great men served and then retired with honors. Both are passionate and proud of their time spent in the military.
I have close friends who agonized over their sons and daughters going into the military in years past. Many prayers were sent up during the time they served, and thankfully, they had a happy ending as my friend’s sons and daughters all returned home safely.
As things escalated in Afghanistan recently, I’ve watched my boss struggle daily. He posts his own thoughts on his Facebook page, so there is no doubt where he stands on this subject. It has certainly been a devastating blow to the United States of America. We have been shaken to our core due to the lives lost and American’s left behind in Afghanistan. Senselessly, 13 lost lives due to a suicide bomber. Thirteen beautiful individuals set out to serve their great Country, and they lost their lives at the hands of pure evil!
Scrolling through Facebook last night, I couldn’t help but see Nikki Haley re-sharing pictures of the fallen soldiers. She re-shared a look into four lives; however, all 13 were shared on Stand For America‘s Facebook page. I sat reading about each of these heroes. Looking at their pictures, with them smiling and in uniform, made my heart hurt deeply! It is one thing to “hear” of such a tragedy occurring, and yet another to put faces with the numbers reported to have lost their lives. Thank you, Stand For America, Nikki Haley, and others, for sharing so the world could learn more about these beautiful soldiers.
SSgt Taylor Hoover was the oldest among them at 31 years old. He had plans to marry when he returned. Oh my gosh, this gripped my heart and felt as if someone was trying to pull it out of my chest! My oldest daughter will marry the love of her life in 18 days. I cannot begin to imagine the devastation felt by his fiancée and their families.
All of the soldiers are important, please don’t get me wrong. I am only sharing the thoughts that went through my head as I saw their faces and read their stories!
My heart shattered to learn the others ranged from 20 years old to 25 years old. Babies!! These were all someone’s babies. My heart shattered more each time I read about their lives. Life had only just begun for them. They were out on their own in this cruel world as their mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers were back at home praying for them and their safety. Oh the sheer horror and terror they – and their families – must have felt as they watched this unfold at the Kabul airport. I cannot fathom the heartbreak as they received the knock on their doors.
I encourage you to visit Stand For America and read about these precious individuals and their lives. Put a face with a name, just as I did, and they become more than just a number plastered across the television. They were mere babies in uniform.
Tears welled up in my eyes and a lump formed in my throat as I thought of their mothers and fathers. At a time like this, all we can do is pray for them. Their babies won’t be walking back through their doors again. There won’t be any more text messages or voicemails from them. The approaching holidays will hurt even more without their loved ones.
Please pray for the family and friends of these American soldiers. Please pray for our country as a whole and for our leadership to make wiser decisions than those made recently. May God comfort as only He can at this most difficult time as these families and the United States of America mourn.
LCpl David Espinoza, 20
SSgt Nicole Gee, 23
Sgt Taylor Hoover, 31
SSG Ryan Knauss, 23
Cpl Hunter Lopez, 22
LCpl Dylan Merola, 20
LCpl Rylee McCollum, 20
LCpl Kareem Nikoui, 20
Cpl Daegan Page, 23
Sgt Johanny Rosario, 25
Cpl Humberto Sanchez, 22
LCpl Jared Schmitz, 20
Corpsman Max Soviak, 22