Life intrudes, its what it does.
The world lost someone this past week, though you’ve probably not heard of him.
I hesitate to call him a friend. You see, he was enlisted while I’m an officer. We aren’t allowed to get to close, lest favoritism cloud our judgment. That is a serious thing, and people could lose stripes and bars over those sort of things. Still, if things had been different, I know that we would have been friends…even close friends.
Though information is scarce on my end, it looks like a suicide.
You see, the Jeremy that I knew was a joy to be around. More than not, he always had a positive – “can do” attitude. He was always willing to help. Something that I benefited from on numerous occasions.
You see, as a Chaplain I was an “insta-Captain.” I joined the USAF with that rank, which others tend to need 4-5 years to earn. One of the things they told us was to find a SNCO, and let them mentor us. I was blessed to be assigned to a Group, and a have my office in a Flight that was filled with good mentors. Jeremy was one of those.
While he helped me, mentored me on more than one occasion; one thing in particular sticks out. You see, I was having problems with my PT test. That is one thing you don’t want in any military branch. Jeremy took me under his wing, and worked out with me for 2 months – 5 days a week, every afternoon so that I would pass that accursed test.
He didn’t just tell me what to do, he did it with me. He walked through it with me, every bitter-painful-step. And, because of him I got one of the best scores on my PT test that I had ever had.
We talked a lot. I got to know him really well, and was aware of some of the struggles he was dealing with. I know that I have a responsibility to not share what people tell me. It is one of the core responsibilities of Chaplains. We guard the private information of those counselled behind an iron curtain of confidentiality. But, even knowing that I wonder. Could there have been something, over 4 months ago that I could have done to mitigate against this day.
Four months ago…the last time we spoke. He was moving to Dyess AFB, and I was getting ready to deploy. My heart now breaks for his son. He won’t be able to spend time with his loving father any more. I can only hope that one day someone will tell him how much his dad cared for him. I also pray that his means of death won’t diminish the memory of his love for his son.
Folks, our time together is short, make the most you can of it.
We lost a Good Man, a Good father, a Good Airmen this past week. We are lesser because of that loss.
Live with Hope. It is our weapon against the darkness.