"___ entered the Presence of the Lord on August ___, at the age of 24."
"___enjoyed too many things to list them all, but most notably were baseball, traveling, music, dogs, food, the shore, and fishing. Most of all, he enjoyed meeting people of different cultures, countries and backgrounds. He traveled through Europe, parts of Africa and different islands around the world. He was a person to “ride the river with”.
"__was a member of the US Army, and recently retired due to an injury attained in Afghanistan. He was based in Germany and Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was trained in infantry and cross trained for the Cobra Strike Team. He went on over 180 missions and received numerous medals and recognition for his service to our country."
"__was attending Penn State at the time of his death. "
"He was loyal, kind and generous, yet he was also a warrior and sheep dog through and through. He was a preacher’s kid who loved Jesus, but struggled with the church. One of the highlights of this year was when he was working with His Work, His Way, and he exclaimed, “if every town did this, our country would be turned around for the better”.
It was with much angst that I read the above obituary recently. Although I did not know him personally, this young man was the son of an acquaintance of ours who was a former colleague in ministry. We knew his grandparents more so than his parents. They were also former colleagues, serving as the District Superintendent & wife for the religious denomination in which we served in the pastoral ministry for many years. His great-grandparents were very well known in this particular denomination, having served first as missionaries and then in the highest position of leadership for the denomination. He came from a very loving Christian home, with his ancestry steeped in service to the Lord Jesus Christ.
What this obituary did not state was the fact that this wonderful young man, with such a strong Christian heritage and ancestry, a stellar record in service to our country, and with the intelligence and ability to enroll in an excellent university to begin the next phase of his life's journey...what it didn't tell you was that he died tragically from an apparent drug overdose.
I am not aware if the overdose was on purpose or accidental...and at this point, I'm not sure that matters. The fact remains that this young man, with such great potential and so much positive influence in his life had his life come to a screeching halt at the age of twenty-four.
My mind is reeling and my heart is breaking...for him, for his family, and for everyone who knew him. Only God knows what happened that brought him to that point in his life...but I suspect it may have had something to do with the action and injury that he sustained in his service to our country in Afghanistan. I don't know that for a fact and I'm certainly not going to ask...but we see so much of this in the lives of our military when they come back home. They are wounded in ways that medicine can't fix, and our country has failed in its efforts to rehabilitate and properly care for the countless thousands of men and women veterans who are in similar circumstances.
However, this is not intended to be a political message ...but it does give one pause to reflect on that particular subject, and say a prayer for those in service to our country.
The other part of his obituary that caused me to stop and take notice was this statement: