Right after high school graduation our son joined the Marines. He wanted to do something that would bring purpose to his life. Even though his father and I could think of other things we would rather see him do, we were very proud of him. While in boot camp, the unthinkable happened - 9/11.
In a nearby city, a young man who also wanted to find purpose in his life chose a career in firefighting. After graduation he started taking all the steps needed to live out his dream as a fireman. Then 9/11 happened. It made such an impact on him that he decided to join the Marines and serve his country. My son and Bryan ended up in the same platoon. They quickly became the best of friends. Over the next few months they worked hard at becoming war ready. In February of 2003 they answered the Commander-in-Chief's call and headed to Kuwait.
Bryan lost his life in Iraq. With honor, he gave his life as he protected those Marines with which he served. I remember the phone call his mom made to us just as if it were yesterday. We spent the next few days with his family grieving, crying and even laughing. The community gave Bryan's family great support and many friends stopped by their home with offerings of food, flowers, sympathy gift baskets and shared memories of Bryan. Even though the pain of their loss was overwhelming, these offerings helped comfort them.
For tips on how to help visit our Sympathy and Grief Resource Center
Sympathy Gifts of words and love can help.