Sunday, February 28, 2010

Honoring Sgt. Jeremiah Wittman

Yesterday I experienced something that I pray you never have to. I attended the funeral of an Army soldier that was killed on Feb. 13 by a suicide bomber. Jeremiah one of three of our soldiers killed that day.

I was amazed to see a group of bikers called the Patriot Guard. Not only did they travel with the body from the funeral home to the church. They went to the airport and led the body to the funeral home. These are a group of men the take their time to honor the fallen for our country. Flags were lined the roads leading to the church. And as the family came to the church the Guard members lined the front of the church and with themselves holding flags. It was an incredible site and very emotional.

The service paid tribute to this young soldier who leaves behind a wife and two little girls. His wife Karyn has been living with her parents since he deployed with her daughter Mia who is 3 years old. My heart was deeply touched with BG Stephen Twitty carried Mia as he escorted Karyn to the front of the church. The music and words said about him were touching. Two of the men that served with him came to the funeral to speak about Jeremiah. It was so moving to see how much these men cared for each other and were so proud to serve with each other. When the Brigadier General spoke I was truly amazed to see how, not knowing Jeremiah, he spoke to his family in such a personal way. He was so kind and compassionate to them. In the closing of this service they presented Karyn with medals given to Jeremy, the part that got to me the most was when he placed the dog tags around each of the little girls necks and then they took his from his gun and gave to Karyn. Again he took Mia in his arms and escorted the family out of the building.

After taking the body out of the sanctuary we then went across the road to have the twenty one gun salute, the playing of taps and the folding of the flag. This was a ceremony that I will never forget! My mind could only go back to the time when my father passed away and I thought of how my mom must have felt when they gave her that flag that was placed on my father's coffin. The Patriot Guard circled stood at attention around the coffin holding their flags.

Yesterday we said goodbye to an American Hero. He joined the Army knowing that there could be a day that his life would end dying for his country. He served so that his children could live a free life. He loved his family and was looking forward to coming home this year. The good news is that Jeremiah was a Christian, and for those of us who are Christians, we will see him again.

If you see one of our military men, please say hello and let them know that you are thankful that they are defending our country. They are protecting us because they don't even know us but they want us to be free. Be proud to be an American!

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