Today was one of my days to stay with my father. My brother was due to relieve me at 6 pm. He called about 4 and asked if I could stay later. He said it was really important and he would explain when he saw me. I said, of course. About 9 I found out what his day had been like.
My brother works with a couple I only know as Lynn and Cese (sounds like Cease). I am probably not even spelling her name the right way. They have come to our family reunion at Labor Day. Cese is South American and thinks our southern tipped accents are funny. They are a very wonderful couple.
Lynn was married before and had a son, John. The marriage didn't last and ended in divorce about 30 years ago. Cese and Lynn had a daughter. The children acted as if they were whole siblings. There was nothing half about their relationship.
John went in the army and was sent to Afghanistan. His sister is in the Air Force serving in San Antonio. A few days ago John was following a humvee which hit a land mine. Everything was on fire all at once. I didn't know it until today but there is an escape hatch on the humvees. He went under, opened the hatch and pulled out three men all who were badly burned.
Lynn went to the San Antonio area to visit some of his customers. He also planned to visit with his daughter. Today is her birthday.
My brother was at the office alone. Cese was at home. Two men in uniform showed up at John's mother's home. She called the office looking for Cese. Dave went to Cese's home. Two men in uniform were at her home, but they would not tell her anything because they had not received a call that the first wife and Lynn were notified. She was only third in line for the information that they had to deliver.
The first thing my brother said to Cese was "I'm so sorry." Cese said "for what? No one will tell me anything!!" The men in uniform asked Dave to track Lynn down and find out where they could have two more men in uniform talk to him face to face in San Antonio.
Dave knew the customers that Lynn was visiting. He finally caught up with him on a cell phone. As luck would have it, the three soldiers that John pulled out of the fire were in a hospital in San Antonio. Lynn and his daughter were in the hospital visiting the three soldiers that his son had saved.
The men in uniform said the San Antonio uniforms would go to the daughter's apartment at 7 pm. Dave stayed with Cese til after the San Antonio uniforms had talked to Lynn and their daughter,and until Cese's sister came to be with her.
John was killed in action today while in another humvee. He was 37.
I never met John, yet I feel a loss from his passing. The military says that John won't be sent home for about fourteen days. One man who touched lives of people that he did not even know.