Momma Says Spock You OUT.
Over a year ago, I volunteered to escort the remains of Marines killed in Iraq should the need arise. The military provides a uniformed escort for all casualties to ensure they are delivered safely to the next of kin and are treated with dignity and respect along the way.
Thankfully, I hadnâ€™t been called on to be an escort since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. The first few weeks of April, however, had been a tough month for the Marines. On the Monday after Easter I was reviewing Department of Defense press releases when I saw that a Private First Class Chance Phelps was killed in action outside of Baghdad. The press release listed his hometownâ€”the same town Iâ€™m from. I notified our Battalion adjutant and told him that, should the duty to escort PFC Phelps fall to our Battalion, I would take him.
Four years ago, Blackfive posted Marine Lt. Colonel Strobl’s accountof his accompanying the remains of a Marine Lance Corporal, LCpl. Chance Phelps, from Dover AFB to Phelps’ home town. It’s an incredibly moving account of the final honor accorded to our bravest and finest that die in service of our country and I found myself getting choked up at several points in reading Lt. Col. Strobl’s story.
Well, HBO has decided to make a film about Strobl and Phelps entitled Taking Chance. It stars Kevin Bacon as Strobl and is due to air February 21st. Here’s the trailer:
Looks like a must-watch. I get choked up watching the trailer too. God bless our men and women in uniform.
Imagine, if you will, that you have somehow been able to escape seeing Star Wars in any of its incarnations but have managed to pick up its main tenets via cultural osmosis. What would your summary of the plot look like? Let us hope it is nothing like this:
There are certain bass lines that permeate my skull and just stick with me to such an extent that I am liable to subconsciously hum them to myself for days on end, even when un-prompted by hearing the songs themselves. (If I hear the songs, forget it — they’re in there for a week.) So, here’s to chucking these particularly bass-y earworms into your skulls as well:
I’ve been trying to figure out how to write this post for a month now, so I figure it’s about time for me to just go ahead and do it, else I might never blog again. I’ve rewritten this post in my head so many times that I simply need to sit down and spell it all out. It’s been a rough few weeks, so here goes.
We lost our baby the day after Thanksgiving, an occurrence which took the metaphorical wind out of our young family’s sails, to say the least. It’s been a strange grieving process — I’ve felt alternately hyper-emotional and completely detached. Random things will call to mind the baby and bring tears to my eyes, while most of the time, I’m fine. This entire stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been surreal.
Our church provided meals for the first week or so, which was great, but as we plowed through to the 25th, things just seemed “off” to me. I’ve struggled on and off with God over questions of “why?”, “why now?” and “how could a God that is (loving, all-knowing, etc.)…?” but have largely been at peace in the knowledge that He, ultimately, knows what He’s doing. My wife and I have been trying to be more committed to doing Advent every night — reading the progression of passages from the Bible outlining the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament passages on Jesus’ arrival and, for me, at least, reading about God coming to Earth in the form of a baby has been comforting. It reaffirms the fact that He cares so incredibly much for the littlest ones among us and that He (as we have told Will) needed to call the baby back to Himself early, certainly earlier than we would have preferred.
With the baby dying at Thanksgiving, Paul’s words of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 have been with me almost continuously:
16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
This is a tough word in many ways. It’s difficult to think in that manner in the face of adversity, but I feel personally thankful to God for:
…and the list goes on. I have been blessed, truly blessed, and while I don’t, nay, can’t know the mind of God on this, I am comforted and thankful that He is in control.
I’ve felt preoccupied by all these things and it seemed just, well, disrespectful somehow to blog about other things while leaving our loss unspoken. Hopefully I will be able to get back to near-daily blogging again soon.
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