Why did I travel all the way across the country with my little brother for the funeral service of a man I never met?
Truthfully, I went to take Courson. Courson wants to go into the armed forces someday. When we discovered our friends in San Diego were right next to the base and they were excited for us to come stay with them, we decided it would be a good thing for him to see what it’s like in Coronado and to honor a fallen sailor.
But the answer came to me clearest when I had middle school and high school students messaging me on snapchat, asking me, “Hey if you don’t mind sharing, what happened to Chuck?”
It was then I realized I had an opportunity, albeit small, to impact my young friends and help them see that the war we rarely hear about is very real, the cost of we being able to live our lives as we please is very heartbreaking, and the thick-as-blood brotherhood of the military can’t be torn to shreds with a single mortar.
It’s hard to understand without experiencing it. And this trip gave me the chance to let others experience the cost of this loss in a way that otherwise would be impossible. We don’t know until someone tells us. That’s how it is with the Gospel, that’s how it is with many things.
If going to Coronado made one person realize, made one person stop to think of how there are so many who are giving their lives to protect us here, then of course it was worth it.
As Charlie’s Dad said, “We would be remiss to forget that men such as Charlie exist.”
I’d also add that it’s a far greater travesty to not realize that they’re alive and fighting right now.
Say a prayer today for the wives who I met this weekend whose husbands were with Charlie when he died, and are still overseas fighting now. The men didn’t get a chance to attend the funeral, because of the critical condition of the area they were stationed in. Say a prayer for the special forces teams spread thin and run ragged trying to keep a very real enemy on the run over there so that the enemy doesn’t come over here and destroy the lives of their loved ones. And make no mistake, we are the loved ones they protect. Each and every one of us.
“Greater love hath no man than this, than he that lay down his life for his friends…”
Thank you Charlie for loving millions of us you’ve never met enough to lay down your life, and may each of us live a life worthy of such sacrifice.
And that’s why I went across the country with my little brother to attend the funeral of a man I’d never met. At least not on this side of eternity.
See you on the other side, Chuck.