Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

February 24, 2008

Posted by fozzynok on 08/08/2009

The day was busy at work even thought it was a Sunday. The corporate folks where in the area and they were there to get things straightened out and the terminal on track. I was busy doing things on the computer and I got the call that still echos in my soul. My wife was calling from Walmart, my Son David was at home alone and there were defense department people at my home. I feel so bad for David as he was the first to know that something was terribly wrong. I hurried home, knowing full well what I thought was going to happen. Sure enough, they were there and they gave us the worst possible news for a military or ANY family. My son had been killed that morning in combat in Iraq. The two men who were there were the utmost in professionalism and handled a job that no one in his right mind would want to do as calmly and helpfully as anyone could have. I read and signed the forms that they needed and then asked if they knew any of the details, they knew the basics, but could say nothing if anyone else was lost with my son. I was horrified at this thought. For my son there was a story, for the members of his team that Angelia and I know, they could say nothing! I was so worried for his team. As soon as the officers left, and we collected ourselves and our thoughts I headed to the computer to try and get in touch with his team members.

The first guy to reply back was one of the unit’s medic, he was not on the mission, but knew the story and was so helpful to me at the moment he needed to be. No one else was hurt with the exception of scratches and such. We found out later that this was not 100% accurate. My son had taken the full brunt of the blast. This was an EFP, the worst possible type of IED. I have told people and heard this from his team that Micheal was the type of man that would have engineered this that way had he had the choice. He of course didn’t. He was just in the wrong seat at the wrong time. Driving is what he loved to do and that is what he was doing when the attack took place. The other members began to chime in and all were OK physically. The loss of my son was a huge blow to the whole group. Their comments and letters have helped me in this dark time. My son from several soldier’s points of view, was that of the utmost professional soldier and as the guy who could say the funniest thing at the most perfect time to lighten up any task and make the guys laugh. For the first time that day, the news was at least brighter.

I had the news that no other parents or loved ones of my sons unit would be getting this horrible news this day and then the task of notifying my friends and family was upon me. I guess this is where it pays to not have a million friends and relatives. I had to call my father, who is a Vietnam veteran and retired veteran of over two decades of his life. I could get out the first part of the announcement that Micheal had been killed in Iraq and then just couldn’t do much talking. I next called my friend Don who had gone on the trip to welcome Micheal into the infantry. I told him the news and I thought that I was going to have to send an ambulance after him. His reaction scared the hell out of me! No one on these calls talks much.. a few sentences and we have to get off the phone. I sent emails to the few other friends who are scattered all over the country. The emails are at least could not react so emotionally and get me all choked up. The day was at least close to being over.. for those who could sleep.  Nightfall was here. The waiting for my son to come home had officially started.

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