I took a couple of days off work last weekend. Had a good time relaxing and doing fun stuff with friends. But that will be another post.
Saturday night, I got a call from my friend Kurt letting me know that a mutual friend, Rudy, had been killed in Afghanistan.
I got to know Rudy when he was in the jr. high youth group at my old church. He was always ready to joke around and have fun. But he could also be serious very quickly. My fondest memory of Rudy is his constant hugs. Every time he saw me, he'd give me one.
I haven't been to that church for 3 or so years now, so I've lost track of him outside of Facebook updates. I knew he was a combat medic in the Army. I knew he was in Afghanistan, but I didn't know it was his first tour. In fact, I thought it was his second tour.
What's amazing is how connect I truly still am to that church. I heard about it Saturday night, but I was talking to people who also knew him at my new church Sunday morning. A co-worker was also talking about it this morning.
This makes the war and the war effort much more real for me because I now know someone personally who gave his life for my freedom. No, it doesn't change my opinion of the war at all. But it does ground it in reality for me.
Yes, I am sad, but my heart breaks for his family, including two younger siblings. It's them I'm really praying for.