Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Way cool!!!

UPDATE: We saw him! He was positioned in an archway directly behind and to the right side of the dais (behind Pres. Bush), not holding a flag. Handsome boy.

Deo Gratias!

My nephew is in the Old Guard (Army) and will be in the honor guard at the White House tomorrow morning, apparently standing quite close to His Holiness! Look for a strapping Irish lad, 6'2", with icy silvery-blue eyes....

He served with distinction for his year in Baghdad, as a sniper assigned to SIT ON TOP OF or walk NEXT TO Bradleys and other armored vehicles during neighborhood patrols, and to pick off anyone who fired at his group. He held two friends as they died. He admits looking into the eyes of 6 enemy combatants as he shot and killed them. He received an Army Commendation Medal with a special "V" for valor after being pinned down in a bombed-out crater/wall with 4 friends, one critically wounded by enemy fire, for several hours. In order to get a clear shot at the nest of insurgents who were firing at them, one of them would have to come up out of the hole and from behind the cover of the wall, run several yards around the wall, and take the shot. When it was clear no help was coming anytime soon, he ordered everyone else to stay put, made the move - and made the kills - to get he and his friends out of their position and back to safety, and to get the wounded soldier medical help.

All of this was done during his 20th year.

When he got home, his CO recommended him for a special tour with the Old Guard, the best of the Army's best, known for its troops' valor. They perform ceremonial duties at Arlington National Cemetery, guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and are responsible for the protection of The Military District Washington DC. (The Marines get to take care of the President.)

Hoo-Ahh, Boy. Your "Auntie Kiss"* is proud of you.

Oh yeah. After my sister's divorce, what little Mass attendance there was stopped. He started going again while stationed in Baghdad. He doesn't talk about it, even with me. He just goes...and pins anyone down with a baleful stare from those clear eyes if they try to pry, or worse yet, tease him about it.

*(He doesn't talk like that anymore. But those unearthly icy-silver-blue eyes sparkling at you from a toddler's sweet face...unforgettable.)


gemoftheocean said...

Where do we get such heroes? Look around....

God Bless him and all his buddies, they are the finest America has produced. When you see men like him, we know the future is in good hands.


gemoftheocean said...

Oh, and Kit, is this photo one with your nephew at the far left? It was posted on Fr. Blake's website.

Anonymous said...

Just read this out to my three older kids. I think it is good for them to know the reality of bravery, true friendship and the horror of war.
God bless your nephew. Hope he gets to be very close to the Holy Father :)

Kit Brookside said...

Hi Karen - how are you? Where have you been?!? :)

Nope, that's not our boy. He's going to be posted somewhere close by during the Papal address this morning at the White House/South Lawn, probably standing close to the dais from what my sister says.

Kit Brookside said...

Hi WSNS...

I'm glad his story resonates for you and your kids. This was just a goofy, smart, but too busy goofing around to get good grades in school, soccer (football) playing boy. He enlisted for college aid, shortly after Pres. Bush said we'd "won" - and after one year of training and sniper school, off he went. He's such a changed person, in ways that are good, and ways that make me sad.

Ma Beck said...

Proud auntie!

Glad you got to see him - how excellent that he got to be a part of this!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kit--ambled on over from the LAIR.

I like it "Brook side"!

Was I the only one VERY heartened by the pro-America comments made by Papa Benedict XVI??

Seems to me he blessed us in a very specific wording.

Kit Brookside said...

Hi Properly, and welcome!

I agree - "God Bless America" sure sounds a lot nicer than "God D*** America," a la Rev. Wright, doesn't it?

Stop by any time!

swissmiss said...

God bless your nephew. Hope he had a wonderful time with his duties during the Pope's visit. Very cool. My brother, a chief warrant officer in the Army, heads off to Iraq soon for his second tour there. May God keep all our military folks safe.