Thursday, November 16, 2006

Georgia Loses Another Hero

NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense

November 15, 2006

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lance Cpl. Kristopher C. ["Cody"] Warren, 19, of Resaca, Ga., died Nov. 9 from a non-hostile incident in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 4th Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, Chattanooga, Tenn.The incident is currently under investigation.

I am somewhat at a loss for words here... my heart is broken, yet again. Still waiting on final details, but it is looking like the funeral will be held in Calhoun, Georgia (a little over a couple hours away from where I live) on Sunday. Yes, the Patriot Guard Riders have been invited to participate, and if it's on Sunday for sure, yes, I'll be there.
Day before yesterday, I was driving home from work, having just learned of the loss of our Hero, Cody. As I drove along, a super-cheerful, peppy Christmas song came on the radio ~ "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," or something similar. Anyone who knows me knows I positively adore Christmas and love listening to Christmas music and decorating and all that fun stuff. But as I rode along, it hit me... this kid, this 19-year-old kid, is being buried the weekend before Thanksgiving. That's not to say that there's any 'good' time to bury a loved one... but it just seemed especially cruel that it should happen right at the holiday time... at a time when family is celebrated like no other time of the year. Suddenly, the perky cheeriness of the Christmas music was no longer cheery... it seemed suddenly loud & obnoxious... and before I knew it I was crying. OK, so much for that - switched right over to 96 Rock and listened to something, well, come to think of it...truly loud & obnoxious... but nothing that conjured up images of turkeys and families and an empty chair at the table... I've cried off & on over the past couple days. Sunday is going to be rough. But, I've got to be there... I've got to do what I can to show my honor and respect for this Hero, and to support the family... It's amazing how much our (the PGR) presence means to the family... the two other funerals I've attended, invariably a family member at some point expresses that having us there provided comfort to them, and that our showing of support meant the world to them... and that is what it's all about... showing RESPECT and providing comfort by our presence.
Today, and in the days and weeks and months to come, y'all say a few million prayers for the family of LCpl. Cody Warren... and don't forget the family of PFC Aaron Kincaid, from a few weeks back...they are just now entering their year of "firsts" - first Thanksgiving, first Chrsitmas, first everything without their son... and another one, the family of Spc. Justin Jarrett, likewise entering their first holiday season without their Hero.. and of course - dont' forget to pray for the Stokely family, as they face yet another holiday season without our local Hero, Mike.
This Thanksgiving Season, do not forget to thank God for and pray for our military, and for our military families, who sacrifice so much on our behalf.
To the family of LCpl. Cody Warren: We can never, ever thank you enough for all your Hero has given on our behalf. We will always, always seek to honor his memory, and we will never forget him. You are in our hearts and prayers, and will remain there always.

The Marine stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, Marine,

How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Marine waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you Marine,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

~Author Unknown~


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