Saturday, September 5, 2009

The 4th Man

I found this post this morning on one of the many memorial pages for Micheal:

Mike, It's been the greatest honor of my Military career to have met you. I only wish I would have had the chance before pulling you out on 24FEB08. I will always honor you as a hero!

It was signed and an email address given. I have written the gentleman.

For over a year now I have tried to find out who else was in the vehicle with Micheal. I know 3 of the 4 others who blessedly walked away from the blast. the 4th man was not with Micheal's unit. They were giving him a ride. I don't know if the man who left this is that man but I think maybe he is. When I told a friend about having possibly finding that 4th man they did not understand I was thrilled. I now have the chance to thank and possibly, if needed, comfort him. But more than that this man had a hand that day in helping my son.. giving him a chance to survive. He and many others worked so hard for my son that day. I know now that the 1SG and others truly thought they were sending my son to be fixed. The fact that Micheal spoke with them gave them hope. I have to think that the news that Micheal had died and that his body was too broken to fix had to be devastating to them because they did have that hope. They had no prepared for that. they had prepared for him to be fixed and sent home to heal and become one of our many wounded warriors.

Micheal's father and I have a different way of looking at somethings involving Micheal's death. I have the need to know everything.. a minute by minute account. His father on the other hand does not.. and is in fact against to some extent. For me though it is important to know who was there, what they did, what Micheal said. All of it. Which kind of takes me back to the report we received last month and whether or not to read it. fact is I know there is so much not in that report that is truly more important for me to know.

So I am going to go against the advice of some and seek out a few people and ask some questions I need answered. I am torn because I don't want to bring pain to others by asking the questions but I need to know. I need to know what his last words to the surgeon were. I need to know what Mungo told Lee that Lee felt so strongly I should hear but would not tell me unless it was face to face. I want to know why Meza never told me about his burned legs. I need to know if Micheal had the same foreboding feeling I had in the days before and if he mentioned it to anyone....

I know in my heart that the answers will not change anything but maybe it will make it easier for me to cope with all of this. What answers I have gotten have reassured me in a way that I cannot put into words. But somehow the knowing of what happened that day helps.

****Update**** a little research on the person who left the message and I now know he was a member of the Engineering team Micheal was escorting.. not a passenger in Micheal's Humvee. So now I'm excited to ask about the sign they made for the barracks they named for Micheal.


Anonymous said...

My father was KIA in Vietnam. I still seek out the men that knew my dad and I continue to find them. I found out that my dad stuck his tongue out just a little when he was really focused, and I do that too. No one in my family ever told me that. I found out more from these men that served with my dad than I could ever have hoped to have known. The good that bad and the ugly. I understand your need to know.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 09/05/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.