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Saying Goodbye

Posted by on 4 May 2009

Today was the memorial service for the young Army Captain that lost his life last week.  I expected a good turn-out, but when I drove up, the parking lot was full.  I was a little surprised.  Although I was surprised, I was happy because it instantly told me that people cared about this young man.  Even though there hasn’t been any news stories about this tragic accident, the people were there to show their love and support.

It was a beautiful service.  The Colonel spoke and even though I was never fond of him, he gave and amazing speech.  It was very touching and heartfelt.  He said many things I think many of us were feeling.  Another officer spoke about cycling with the Captain.  How much he’d grown and loved sports.  Then, another officer spoke….someone who’d been good friends with the Captain.  He spoke about how much they disliked each other when they first met during their officer training.  He called the Captain “pretty boy”.  He had some touching things to say, but also some very funny things.  There was so many words said along with some beautiful verses and a movie presentation called “The Final Lap” in tribute since he was a cyclist and a runner.  There was also a weapons salute along with “Taps” being played.  Oh that sound of the lone bugle…. 

To sit there and glance around and know that he touched our lives for such a short time made me think.  I’ll never forget how respectful he was to my hubby.  I’ll never forget the words that he said to us in our very last military “event”.  The chaplain referred to the Captain as a “capital R”, while many of us are just a “little r”.  He said this because the Captain put everything he had into everything that he did.  He truly cared.  And, that’s what I remember about the few times that I had a chance to know him.  It’s too bad we knew him at the end of our career, yet it’s fitting. 

He not only touched our lives, but many.  Even men in uniform were crying at this loss.  We’ll never know why God needed him now.  We’ll never know why he was taken so young.  What we do know is that he’ll go on for a very long time.  Not just in memories, but in other ways.  He was an organ donor and there’s a 50 year old man that now has his heart.  There’s someone else that got his pancreas and someone that got his kidneys.  There’s are “parts” of him that were given as well.  That alone speaks of the man he was. 

On a final note, I’d like to just remind everyone of something.  It’s something that was stated a few times during the memorial service.  It’s something that the Captain wanted everyone to remember.  That thought is….

Life should be celebrated, not mourned at the loss of it.

4 Responses to Saying Goodbye

  1. Annette Piper

    The captain was right! Its important to enjoy life, to tell people you care about them and that they’re important when they’re around. Then celebrate what they did, what they achieved and what they loved when they’re no longer here.

  2. Debbie

    Amen!

  3. Carol Galus

    Your blog about our son’s memorial service at Ft. Sill was just discovered this morning by my husband and me. We are that Army Captain’s parents. Your wonderful blog brought tears to our eyes. Yes, we had a wonderful son who touched many, many lives in his short time on Earth. The outpouring of notes from hundreds of people who were touched by our son’s loving, caring nature is very comforting to the family. We are spending a quiet Memorial Day weekend at our home with our son’s wife. My husband and our son’s wife will run in the Bolder Boulder race in Boulder, CO on Memorial Day in memory of our son, who loved to run! He will be running along side them in spirit.

    • Elaine

      Mrs. Galus, I’m so honored that you came to my blog. I’m sorry I had to the write this blog post, but I’m glad that I was able to say and do something that touched your family. We only knew CPT Galus for a short time. During my husbands last cycle, I only met him a few times and we were preparing for retirement. I will NEVER forget how respectful he was of my husband. That’s just not a common thing in the military any more. Jason made sure that I knew that my husband was a great soldier and man. Even though you serve as long as we did, it touches you in ways to know that he was appreciated. Those words that touched me from Jason was the last time we saw him at our unit retirement party and I swear I’ll never forget.

      I wish you and your family all the best. I know that your son will carry your husband and daughter-in-law to the finish line in grand style. It’ll be their best because he always gave his best. Your family is in our prayers and thank you for blessing all of with such a wonderful person.

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