“…love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things… It was love for country that inspired these three Americans to put on the uniform to join the greatest army that the world has ever known. Sergeant First Class Daniel Ferguson, Staff Sergeant Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez, Sergeant Timothy Owens…”
–POTUS Barack Obama
The afternoon of April 9th was a long and hot one. The sudden deaths of three great soldiers made for a most heartbreaking event today to say goodbye to their fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, and fiancé. There is no way I can begin to understand even just a fraction of their sorrow, but let’s just continue to pray for them, to have strength and peace, every day and every night. This senseless tragedy literally could’ve happened to any unit on any base in any military branch. So if you’re reading this, stop to thank God that he spared our lives again and gave us another chance.
I was honored today to be in the presence of the Army Chief of Staff, General Ray Odierno, the Secretary of the Army, Honorable John McHugh, and our Commander-in-Chief, President Obama and The First Lady. In addition, there were several others who flew in to attend this memorial, to include members of the Texas congressional delegation.
But I was moreso very honored to be there to pay my respects to these fallen heroes…who stood in front of a door to protect a room full of fellow soldiers and who walked bravely toward the shooter in effort to calm him down. If this is not the epitome of the Army Values, of bravery and courage, loyalty to the Warrior Ethos, I don’t know what is! I can only hope for myself that I would be this courageous if I ever found myself in this situation, God forbid. I joined the Army well-aware that I will be put into harm’s way at any given time. But these three men made the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE and thought not of self, but of safety. Safety — for their comrades and not for themselves.
Let’s not forget to include the victims that survived their gunshots, the soldiers who hid fearing for their lives not knowing if they’d see tomorrow, the officer who broke windows for his people to escape, the healthcare professionals at Darnall and at Scott & White, the MP who undoubtedly and bravely risked her life at the scene,… And last but NEVER least, the family members. To the parents, spouses, sons and daughters, siblings, and relatives, you SHARED your men with the U.S. Army for a collective total of nine deployments within 50 collective years of service. That alone is commendable — your undying support and love, throughout their careers. But we thank you and grieve with you and pray for you…for having to give up your men one week ago for America.
Before I close, let me add that I also felt quite honored to have members of my unit performing in the 1st Cavalry Division Band as well as singing “The Star Spangled Banner” and “Amazing Grace.” You all did a beautiful job! Thank you to each individual, the band as a whole, and band commander CW5 Pace. I’m a proud Maverick.