A parent’s nightmare

I was starting to get ready for bed two weeks ago when I looked at my phone and saw the news. Two Black Hawk helicopters had crashed around 10 p.m. on March 29 in southwestern Kentucky, killing nine US service members with the 101st Airborne Division. 

As soon as I saw the news, I knew I wasn’t going to bed anytime soon. I searched for information on the crashes for the next hour. The service members had been participating in a routine training mission when the incident occurred and the helicopters went down in an open field near a residential area. 

I thought about the victims the rest of the night. When the Army released the names of the soldiers the next day, I looked closely at their pictures. I felt a deep sadness for their families. 

Image by Pixabay.

Close to home 

My son is a sergeant in the United States Marines Corps. When I saw the news, I immediately thought of him. Oh, I knew that he was fine. Besides serving in a different branch of the Armed Services, he’s in a different spot in the world right, but I still thought of him. Like the nine, he participates all the time in training exercises. 

When he comes home on leave, he tells us all the time not worry about him. He tells us that he’s doing what he always wanted to do and that he’s safe and having fun, even though it sounds like it’s a very demanding job. I listen closely to him, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t still worry. 

Image by Pexels.

Praying for people I don’t even know

I’ll think of him anytime North Korea tests a missile or China or Russia raise their hackles over something in the world or soldiers, airmen, sailors, or marines here in the US are in the news.When stories like this come along every so often, I find that I take much deeper interest than I ever did in the past. I’ll study the stories to find out where they are in relation to my son. I’ll look over the deceased soldiers photos. I’m always shocked how young they look. I can never get over the looks on their faces. They often have the same stern, but confident look on their face that my son has.

I think too of the loss and frustration their parents and loved ones must be feeling. 

In this instance, I do the only thing I can do, I pray for my son and for the families of the men and women lost, hoping they find a peace that I know will take a long time to achieve. 

God be with them. 

42 thoughts on “A parent’s nightmare

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  1. I’m always struck by tragedies, such as this, as well. My cousin is in the Army Special Forces and it seems like every year, there’s crazier training he’s stationed in a more dangerous. I can’t imagine how it must feel as a parents, but I think you’ve doing the best that anyone can ask through empathy and prayer.

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  2. One day the world will wake up and declare, NO MORE WAR! Until then, all we can do is pray for those who keep us safe and those with suffering hearts as a result. Thank you for reminding us of the need for those prayers Brian, for your son and for all.

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  3. A parental reaction to be terrified for those we don’t even know because of the commonality of interests or careers, and also just because we are human and struck by the gravity of loss. Empathy can feel very real and impact us as strongly as if the situation was our very own.

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  4. This post touched my heart. Thank you to your son and the many others who are bravely do their duty. I can’t even imagine the anxiety and worry that you and your wife feel. I’m glad he was safe but heartbreaking to think of the others. Hope your son continues to stay safe!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m glad it touched you. I wasn’t sure about the headline. It’s not really a nightmare for us. Fortunately, he’s been very safe and has had no problems the several years that he’s been in the service. But, as the recent accident showed, anything can happen. I feel for the parents and loved ones impacted. You do what you can do. Thanks for writing.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny . . . I wasn’t sure if I liked the title at first. We’ve been lucky. He’s been bruised and exhausted but he’s been fortunate for the most part. You worry, but I try to remember that he’s having fun. It’s like someone who likes sky diving or mountain climbing. I worry about him, but I wouldn’t want to take away what he’s doing. Plus, I’m not sure my word would stop him. Ha, ha. You do what you can. Thanks for commenting Vicki!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. He’s got the hard job. I’m just along for the ride so-to-speak. Ha, ha. It is funny though, when I pick him up at the airport, I’m always thinking to myself that I’m going to lift him up and give him a big hug. The days of me lifting him up, sadly are long gone. He’s very solid now. Ha, ha.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I get it. I have a family member who works security at a University and when I hear about a school shooting, I check to see which school it is. I’ve also taken up the habit of when I see an ambulance or a fire truck going by with their lights and sirens on, I stop and say a little prayer because I know someone is having a very bad day.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Me too with the ambulance. My wife does that. I used to tease her, now I do the exact same thing. Yes, sadly, I can see why you’d do that with the University. I guess it’s just the times we live in. Hopefully for your family member and for all of us . . . things get better.

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  6. That must be such a worry for you. I agree that the photos of soldiers look so young. They look like babies. We had a close friend who volunteered to go to Bagram Air Base. He was in the reserves, had three children (one was a friend of my daughter’s.) He felt that the battle was between good and evil and he couldn’t stand back and do nothing. We worried about him and I sympathized with his wife. It was at the time Osama Bin Laden was taken out. Thankfully he came back after two tours safely.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I get teary eyed thinking about our friend, leaving a secure job and putting his life on the line for good vs. evil. His children and wife are amazing too. Your son and all the others are too young to be put in so much danger.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m with you Brian! I’m praying for your son and all of your men and women in service.
    This was one thing that scared me when I was in the military and then you start to get cocky and think you can make it through anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We think of the dangers of war, but not the danger involved in training for war. Probably a lot more die off the battlefield than we realize. Ft. Campbell is maybe 50 miles from Nashville. We had a very bad week that week. Hope your son stays safe and well.

    Liked by 1 person

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