Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Thanking Those Who Deserve It Most

Somehow my post for today pales when compared to an email that I received last night. So I'm replacing whatever mundane thing I had to say with these wonderful words that were written from a loving parent.

Whether or not you support the war in Iraq, it does not diminish the fact that men and women put their lives on the line for their fellow human race. They do it not for glory or for accolades, but because it is their beliefs that their country is worth the dangers of fighting and that every human deserves to be protected.

First, please go to this post and this post, reacquaint yourself with SSG Heathe Craig, a man who perished for the sake of serving you. Then you will understand the reason I received the following from his father, Jeffery Craig.

Dear Shalee,

I would like to thank you for your July 2006 remembrance of PFC Brian Bradbury, and, SSG Heathe Craig. It has taken me some time, (as you can see) to tell you thanks. I am the proud father of Heathe Craig. I am also the proud father-in-law to Judy. She is a wonderful person, and always a part of our family. The two of them created two very beautiful children, and we love them all dearly. But we do miss them. The distance between is hard, but, we try to stay in contact as good as we can. Judy, the children, and, Judy's mom and dad were here to visit last summer for 2 weeks, and , we had a great time with all of them. My wife Sheila and I are planning a trip to Germany later this year to see all of them again. We would certainly love to see all of them more often, but vacation time and $ make it a little more difficult.

I know Judy has told you much about Heathe, and, I also remember those times of him as an adult, but, I also remember the little boy. Laying on the bed with him as an infant, just watching in amazement at the little being before me. I also remember the scraped knees, bloody noses, sickness, laughter, and just watching him grow so fast.

Heathe was always a very compassionate kid, always willing to help, and, feeling right along with anyone in pain. He always had a very big heart. It didn't surprise me to hear that he wanted to be a medic. To help other people. I never saw him turn away from a chance to help. It was his nature. To him it seemed like his destiny.

We as parents spend our children's young lives trying to teach them everything that's right. The rest is up to them. Heathe mastered the right way to do things. I feel I could use a few pages out of his book. I always thought as Heathe's father, someday I would be his hero. Quite contrary. Heathe is my hero and always will be. He will live on in my heart forever. I will be with him again someday.

My wife told me once that she felt that I was making myself a victim. I suppose at the time she was right. No longer am I a victim, but, just a father dearly missing his son. They say it gets better with time but they never said how much time.

My prayers are with all of our military people all over the world. Without them I would probably not be writing this now. We have them to thank for our liberties.
                                                                                                                                                                       Thank you once again, and, sincerely,

Jeffrey Craig

Dear Jeff,

I'm so sorry that you and your wife have been put into the position of missing your son. But I thank you for raising Heathe to be brave, caring and concerned for the welfare of others. Your words are full of love for not only Heathe, but for your daughter-in-law, Judy. You're right. It is because of heroes like Heathe that we have the security and freedom today. Thank you for sharing so eloquently and beautiful the value of each soldier. They are all somebody's child, full of life and part of someone's memory. 

May God grant you continued peace and healing,


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