Gold Star Dad

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

Archive for June, 2010

Leaving the gold star on the dresser and in my heart.

Posted by fozzynok on 06/07/2010

It’s been a rather tough couple of months for me I guess. Lots of things are just out of kilter for me and I’m tired of most everything. I posted about the comments that the once supposed ex-military man left on the blog but not the reactions to that post from some others who have opined as to what they feel I am. I don’t think I will other than to say that the guy who posted those words on my blog about the photos of the young dieing Marine, my son and the military in general seem to have a lot more like minded supporters out there than I’d ever thought possible. The reaction to that story and from the direction it came was probably the worst part of all. I’d like to say that this was the first shot fired from that direction and for the same exact reason, but it wasn’t. This just solidifies my decision to drop out even more. This may seem like my version of Richard Nixon’s “Checkers” speech and it probably is more than even I realize. There are a lot of people out there supporting the military for all the greatest reasons in the world, and there are just way too many who are out there for themselves and what this does for them or the company that it places them in.

I’d read recently that a young Lance Corporal was having a homecoming at the airport over the weekend from Afghanistan. We decided to go up and show support for this young man and his family when he walked through the gates. It was as simple as that. I wanted to get out of the house and show support and feel the energy that these events bring. I guess it’s not my place to be, never really has been and I am now feeling bad for even being there. We offered to stand a flag line for the group that was there and we walked into the terminal and set up two columns with the parents and family there in the middle. We were there in the terminal causing general confusion to a lot of the people walking through but all it all it was really kind of fun. I was extremely proud of my youngest son who was standing his first flag line. He did what he was supposed to do and for this boy, that’s asking a lot sometimes. The young Marine walked into view and there was a lot of excitement and photos and tears and laughter of just utter joy.

The family hugged the stuffins out of that young man as anyone would expect, then the broke off and started to thank the entourage of well wishers, walking down the two columns of people shaking hands and offering thanks and of course getting more hugs and handshakes that he was probably even dreaming of. I took my turn thanking him and wishing him well and he passed on by. His father was close behind him shaking hands and thanking the people who where there. I congratulated him and told him what a fine example of a Marine his son was and he too passed on by to get back with the family waiting for them. Dang it felt good to be there! Near the end of the second row, the leader of our group stopped the father and talked to him rather closely. When the person pointed our way and the father started our direction, I knew that the day had just become more emotionally complicated. I could see the change in the fathers face as he approached us he was obviously emotional his eyes were welling with tears and he could barely speak.

It is damn hard to remain composed when this happens. The son also soon was there wanting to know about Micheal and that was probably even tougher. The last thing that I wanted to happen was to dampen a day that was all about the joys of a returning son to his eagerly awaiting family. All too often this is what happens and I just can’t do this anymore. I hate being the reminder of the worst case scenario for these parents, families and troops. I’ve been told by a few people that I’m going to events, places as some sort of personal gain or as some platform to forward some sort “agenda”. After this event, it’s plain that to me anyway, to subject other people to myself or subject myself to the pain this causes is just something that I won’t do anymore. I still support the troops, their mission and their families and will give whatever I have that any of them need. But there is no way to do this and not ruffle feathers of some or to add to the already emotional toll of the parents and families.

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