I don't know how to blog about this. It's not a 'this is what I did today' post, nor is it a 'philosophical musing' post. This is something very real and serious.
I've heard the policy of war in America discussed in theory ad nauseum. Even earlier yesterday, I was reading a book about it. The theory discussed was all well and good to me, nothing close to my heart, and I'm not really sure where I stand. I have a cousin in the military, but I don't hear any dangerous stories coming from him, so all of the reports on television of fighting or 'soldiers killed' or 'car bombs' or 'land mines' were removed and foreign to me. I suppose that is the way it is with most Americans, especially the ones discussing theory and policy and such.
Well, things hit home, beyond the discussion of policy, yesterday.
On the front of the Indianapolis Star was this picture:
I recognize this picture. It is a photo of Brett Hershey, a high school friend of mine. This is the story that goes along with the picture.
On Saturday, Brett was killed in Afghanistan by a land mine, along with 3 other Indiana soldiers.
Brett went to my youth group. We were both involved as leaders in Student Venture, and worked together to plan events and pray for each other's schools-- He went to North Central High School and I to Carmel. He provided great leadership in both youth group and SV, always outgoing, friendly, and paying special attention to 'the little guy'. A specific example of this was, at youth group for a while, there was a handicapped kid coming. Brett knew and was loved by lots of people in youth group, but Brett always made a point to sit with the handicapped kid that no one knew and most were afraid to talk to or get to know, even on youth group retreats when there was lots of other things going on.
I had great respect for Brett. I'm sorry that he is gone now, because he had so much life ahead of him. He had the biggest heart of almost anyone I've known. He loved God in a great way, and that is what will be remembered about him. The bit I said in the last post, about living for the line - he was all about that. And I know where he'll be for 'the line,' so that's a bit of good news.
I don't know what to say that doesn't just sound empty and cliche. So I'll stop.