Thursday, August 2, 2012

The ultimate sacrifice

I have so many things to share and write about - baby showers thrown and attended (3), wedding events for my sister, travel, our crazy growing garden.

But for the past five days I've done little else but think about and pray for a woman I know from church who lost her husband in Afghanistan on Sunday.

It's strange: even though we know a lot of military families, I (ignorantly) thought things were basically over for the US military in the Middle East. I certainly didn't think about or realize US soldiers were still being attacked and still dying. So the news itself was completely shocking.

I have grieved the loss of people much dearer to me - family members and close friends, but the loss of Dan has come as such a huge blow to the church and community. E and I weren't close with Dan and his wife Rachel, but we had mutual friends at church and had attended a few game nights with them. In the past, I have been moved and saddened hearing about the loss of lives of our military members, but this was so close to home.

Dan was a sergeant in MARSOC (special ops in the Marines), and had already been in combat three times and was on his sixth deployment. He received a purple heart last summer in a combat that shattered his knee. Besides being a godly man who loved his family, I don't know how else to describe him except that he seemed way too bad ass to have anything happen to him. It's really hard to imagine one of the toughest strongest guys you can think of not making it.  But this isn't the movies, and the strong guy isn't coming home.

(taken from Facebook)

In part it feels disingenuous to be so torn up over his death, considering there are so many others suffering so much more deeply at this loss. But as Christians we mourn with those who mourn, and I can't help but dwell on the ugliness of death.
I'm just so thankful that death does not win in the end.

The very moment that believers die they are in paradise. Their battle is fought: their strife is over. They have passed through that gloomy valley we must one day tread; they have gone over that dark river we must one day cross. They have drunk that last bitter cup which sin has mingled for man: they have reached that place where sorrow and sighing are no more. Surely we should not wish them back again! We should not weep for them, but for ourselves.
-JC Ryle

Thank you for your service and sacrifice, Gunnery Sergeant Daniel J. Price.


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