The funeral for this decorated soldier was a somber one.
A mother, dressed in all black, sat there with painful tears streaming down her reddened cheek and a father sat beside her in disbelief, his left arm laid across her shoulders, as he tried to comfort her.
A lost comrade taken by an enemy's bullet.
A lost brother taken by an enemy's bullet.
Our lost son taken by an enemy's bullet.
My heart had stopped briefly from each of the twenty one shots that rang out in the distance. Each shot danced echoes off my eardrums and the painful ache in my heart never seamed to stop.
His fellow comrades stood watch over his flag draped casket. Honoring him will a sharp, military salute just as Taps sounded from the bugler's horn.
The ripples of each note that was played sparked memories in my head of yesterday years and days gone.
The date was October 28, 1989. Our bundle of joy was born. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and the sun began to shine.
We became parents.
Time would never stop though. Growing faster than the weeds in our own front yard. We learned to cherish each passing second and moment.
Through the terrible twos to the teenage years and finally out of the house... wow what happened?
We became older parents.
Then it changed. A proud moment. But a changing moment none the less.
Our son raised his right hand and he swore to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
His unit got deployed to a foreign country, shortly there after and we were still extremely proud.
On one chilly October, Saturday afternoon, two weeks before his 25th birthday, our lives would be changed by one knock on our door. The dull sound of the rapping on our door is forever engraved into my head.
We knew what it meant and we both fell to our knees and wept.
The military chaplain spoke to us in a most peaceful tone, the following words, "On behalf of a grateful nation, I am sorry to inform you that your son was killed in action by an enemy's bullet"
The air became still and calm laid over us all.
At that moment his casket was lowered into the ground and a folded flag was placed in our trembling hands.
Through the grayish clouds, one steady beam of sunlight came to rest on top of that folded flag and the time read 2:30 in the afternoon.
I was military honor guard my last three years in the military and those moments are forever embedded inside of me