Last Wednesday I headed to Indiana for my sister’s wedding. She was a beautiful bride and I even like my new brother in law even if he is not a Packers fan. 😉 Spent time with my family and had a very good time.
Well going to spend time with my family put me about 3 hours from my “combat family” at Ft. Campbell. So Monday I made the drive. I meet my dear friend Kelli ( who admits she thought I was insane the first time she talked to me on the phone) at the front gate and we drove to the Company my son had served in. I should have known something was up when she took my camera as we walked into the building. There is sat… the sign I had waited so long to touch. It had been hand made in Iraq and placed on the barracks to honor my son. It found its way back to the US when the FOB was dismantled to Ft. Riley. After several phone calls and a few emails to a CSM it finally made its way to where it belongs…. Bravo Company 1-502nd. I have wanted to touch this sign since Easter of 2008.
I took a few minutes to trace each letter with my fingers and feel the roughness of the wood. I asked for a sharpie marker and wrote a message to my son on the back. It was at point I realized several men were watching me. I looked up to find Sgt. Reese who had served with my son and one of the few left of his team at the Company, the Company Commander, the Company First Sgt. , the Battalion Command Sgt. Major and Battalion Commander. Quite the reception and I was touched and honored that these very busy men would take a moment for me.
I was told about the new Wall of Honor the Company was creating with pictures of all of our Fallen and how above the lockers where everyone would see it every day the sign from the FOB in Iraq would be hung. I had hoped a barracks at Ft. Campbell would be named for my son but I am content that the sign is home in the Company.
So the last step has been made… the sign is home where it belongs and I have gotten my moment with it. I should feel closer but some how I feel like I am missing something in this. But as I have learned… the answers come when I am ready for them.