Thursday, January 08, 2009

Technical difficulties, not to mention the holidays, sort of interfered with this blog! I hope that my faithful readers (a small but loyal band) have not given up checking to see if I've added anything. I hope to add pictures later, in a different post when we get my computer problems straightened out.

October in Washington state can be an iffy sort of month in terms of weather and both of the ceremonies we were scheduled to attend were outdoors. By some miracle, the sun was shining and it was a perfect fall day, not cold, just right for being outdoors. The first ceremony was relatively early in the morning--I want to say 9:00 a.m. but this is one thing I forgot to write down in my calendar! We were escorted by Thomas's friend David and his wife Amber, and David's parents Richard and Kaye, who had come to the funeral. My sister and her husband Mike came, my cousin Peg and her husband Bob (a Viet Nam era veteran) came, and Anne of course was there, poised to remove Matthew if he wished. Richard, Anna, Maria and Matthew and I were there of course as well. I think we had the largest contingent, but that was mostly because my family and friends were local to Fort Lewis.

This first gathering was relatively small, involving the families of the fallen, as they dedicated a memorial to those who had been lost. There were 44 names. Some families did not come, at least one because they were still so deep in their grief. The Brigade had not made provisions for the families to meet each other thinking this might be too difficult, but I did mention later to one of the officers in charge that I thought it might be a good idea if they ever had to do this again to set up a gathering for the families. We clearly do better when we mourn together than we when we are all alone (sometimes being alone is a good thing). They had left boxes of tissues under our chairs, and there were certainly tears. There were speeches, short, and the names were read with each family receiving a shadow box with a small, folded flag on one half and the other side sporting a metal lightning bolt Stryker symbol, and an Operation Iraqi Freedom "coin"--it's behind glass and won't photograph well but I will try later. A small plaque at the bottom says:

SPC Thomas K. Doerflinger
1-24 IN
Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.


At January 12, 2009 at 2:43:00 PM PST , Anonymous Laurie, Chase's mom said...

Glad to see you post! I missed you :-)


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