"Greater Love has not other than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13
On June 28th, 2014, We all headed to Arlington Cemetery. 9 years before, On June 28, 2005, Beloved put four Seals on a Mountain. Three of four SEALS on the ground were killed during combat operations in support of Operation Red Wings. On the same day, a Quick Reaction Force of eight SEALS and eight Army Night Stalkers were also killed when the MH-47 helicopter they were aboard was shot down by enemy fire in the vicinity of Asadabad, Afghanistan.
So, the morning of the 28th, we hiked toward the resting places of the crew which was a part of that mission. These were his friends which were closer to him than blood brothers.
MAJ Stephen Reich, CW4 Chris Scherkenbach, CW3 Corey Goodnature, MSG Tre Ponder, SFC Michael Russell, SFC Marcus Muralles, SSG Shamus Goare, and SGT Kip Jacoby.
Have you ever seen coins at a military grave site?
While visiting some cemeteries you may notice that headstones marking certain graves have coins on them, left by previous visitors to the grave. These coins have distinct meanings when left on the headstones of those who gave their life while serving in America's military, and these meanings vary depending on the denomination of coin.
A coin left on a headstone or at the grave site is meant as a message to the deceased soldier's family that someone else has visited the grave to pay respect. Leaving a penny at the grave means simply that you visited. A nickel indicates that you and the deceased trained at boot camp together, while a dime means you served with him in some capacity. By leaving a quarter at the grave, you are telling the family that you were with the soldier when he was killed.
According to tradition, the money left at graves in national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries is eventually collected, and the funds are put toward maintaining the cemetery or paying burial costs for indigent veterans. - Military Grave Coins
Beloved placing his Quarter.
We placed our coins too.
And placed a little carnations stem on Sherks grave as he was a Pilot with Beloved for many years.
Beloved also went to High School with Sherk's wife.
We gathered together and prayed for their families.
And took a picture of all of us too with the markers of those who were buried at the cemetery.
This area is #60 at Arlington Cemetery.
The, we said our quiet goodbyes: as this area was getting rather crowded with visitors.
While we were here, just a few rows over was a older lady who was sitting that morning at what we can only assume was her sons marker. I am sure she was just as curious about our story as we were of her story.
Then, we took our footsteps up toward the "Changing of the Guard".
It was a super emotional morning for us but one filled with "Thankfulness."