Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A mother's eyes~

Kevin Preach

It was snowing the day my son called from his college dorm to tell me that a former high school classmate, a Marine, had been badly injured in Afghanistan. The truck he was in had driven over an IED. Kevin had lost both legs and was badly burned.

Kevin was in a coma, Dave said. Could I get him the family's address so he could send something? Friends were rallying, supporting Kevin's girlfriend, collecting money for the family, gathering on Facebook to console. There was hope; there always is, especially when you're young.

After I hung up, I pulled on boots and gloves and went out to shovel the driveway.

I cried . . . because Kevin is too young to suffer like that, because he is one of so many who suffer, and because I didn't think he'd live.

He didn't.

He was buried today [Feb. 2009]. The funeral and procession to the cemetery were covered on the local news, like so many we've seen through the years: small town, friends and neighbors holding hands. Flag draped coffin.

The TV camera caught Kevin's mother, zoomed in, and held her face. Her empty eyes, as she watched her son's coffin pass, spoke louder than cries of grief. The eternal question silently screamed, leaving tears to be shed later...


It snowed again today. And I cried again . . . because Kevin was too young to die, because he's one of so many, and because I saw his mother's eyes.

God sees us through our Mothers' eyes. ~Ganeshan Venkatarman

Lance Corporal Kevin T. Preach, United States Marine Corps, died February 7, 2009, from injuries sustained during an attack while serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Kevin was a Machine Gunner with 2nd Marine Division 3/8 Weapons Company. He was age 21.


Jody said...

Ruth, this is just heartbreaking. Yes, Kevin has become one of so many, but it never lessens the shock and pain. My heart goes out to his family and to Dave. And thank you for sharing this with us. They all have names...and we need to hear them. They all have families, and this always changes many lives forever.

RiverPoet said...

Ruth - I'm so sorry for this family, and for all of us to have lost such a bright young life. He was the same age as my son, who almost made the decision last year to go into the Marines (like his dad, granddad, and great-granddad had done before him). It could have been my son. And without my son, the joy would go out of my life.

I feel for his mother. I feel the loss for us all.

Peace - and I mean that - D

Gary said...

Such hell for his mother. And other family and friends too.

Lisa said...

I am so sorry for this devastating loss, Ruth. My condolences to all who knew and loved him.

Tere said...

This breaks my heart . . . for his family, for yours, for our country. Thank you for making this personal.

Linda said...

21 years old. How tragic.

May God bless and comfort Kevin's family and friends and give his mother hope that she see him again someplace better.

Dawn said...

Oh Ruth you said it all "he was too young" as are so many and the loss is felt by all of us whether we knew him or not. We are all diminished by his passing.

And I agree with another comment -- thanks for making this personal. If we put faces and smiles to these men rather than statistics, war becomes much more personal and maybe much less of a viable option.

Do you have a contact for the family -- I clicked on his name but it was an error message.


Pam said...

Thank you so much Ruth for acknowledging this young man.All parents, on reading this, would feel the pain,particularly when we have children this age.It is our worst nightmare.Your simple summation at the end of the post gave me goosebumps.I feel for this family and for Kevin's young love, who,like all who lose their loved ones through war, will never ever forget.So very, very sad.

Wanda said...

My heart is breaking too. You have said it all....he was too young!

My prayers are with the family and I see those mother's eyes!


Bob Sanchez said...

This is so sad. We see lists of war dead and their ages on television, and they are so young. We owe them our eternal gratitude.

sc morgan said...

Hi Ruth. It looks as though we both had hard weeks.

I found this so sad. Such a loss for his famuly. Like Bob says: so young, so young.

Janice Thomson said...

There is nothing one can say at a time like this - only time heals the pain enough to continue on in life.
Such a poignant post Ruth - we all feel the pain left by these brave souls.