Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Tough Stuff

A lot of things about living here are tough-or at least tougher-than living in the States.  But I don't think anything is more difficult for this tiny community than when we lose one of our own.  It has happened far too many times in my two years here.  And in the last month, it has happened twice.  Two freak accidents claimed the lives of 2 young airmen-both from the same squadron.

For you non-military folks, a squadron is sort of like a department in a corporation.  There is the Contracting Squadron, the Security Forces Squadron (law enforcement), the Engineering Squadron, and so on and so forth.  Except on bases, squadrons aren't just where you work, they become your family-especially if you are here without your own. There are squadron picnics, family days, and the list goes on and on.

So, the Security Forces Squadron has had 2 deaths in 2 months.  These kids (and by kids, I mean KIDS-some aren't even 20 yet) have had to process losing 2 brothers.  And they are having to do it thousands of miles from home.  It's just tough stuff.

And it isn't just tough for the guys who knew the fallen.  It's tough for all of us.  This is a small community.  We are all each other has over here.  We each feel it in one way or another.  One friend's husband was a first responder to this latest accident, another's husband works in this Squadron as a supervisor and was at the hospital with the deceased.  And my husband?  His squadron is responsible for Mortuary Affairs.  He left our house at 2am this morning to transfer this soldier to a proper case for his last flight back home.  Ryan and his co-workers made sure that the flag was neat and secured on top.  And then they drove over to the Flight Line around 3am.  Ryan told me that the entire squadron was waiting-and standing at attention-along with our Wing Commander, Command Chief, and others.  The honor guard took this soldier on board the cargo plane, and then the base leadership gave the casket a dignified farewell.

Tough stuff.

Please pray for this little base.  Pray for these kids as they go out everyday, even here, and do dangerous things.  Pray for all the broken hearts-both here and back home. 

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