He’s HOME-Part 2

In my last post, I wrote about Tony’s arrival home.  We have had a busy couple of days, so I wanted to give a recap of those his few days home after we greeted him at the airport.

 

I knew that Brad’s death was really hard on Tony, especially since he was so far away.  I knew that as excited as I was for Tony to come home, that it would be sad for him too.  Now that he’s back, it is real that Brad is gone, that he wasn’t at the airport to greet him like he did every other time.  I knew that Tony’s grieving and healing would only begin once he was home, and saw the grave.  After we met Tony at the airport, we drove to Washington Crossing Memorial Cemetery for Tony to visit Brad’s grave site.  I honestly was not sure how to support him there.  I didn’t know how much he wanted to be alone, or have someone there.  He walked up to the grave alone, and had a few minutes by himself.  I walked up to him, and put my arm around him.   Many Marines and family went to the Cemetery with us, and I know having the other Marines with him there that day really helped him to have some closure.  Tony laid on Brad’s grave his white dress gloves and a coin he has carried on his last deployment.  Later, we were told that every evening, they clear the cemetery, so Tony decided to take the gloves and coin with him.  He talked to Lynsay and she said she was free the next day to take us to see the Memorial that was created at the scene of the shooting, and that he could leave those items there.

 

We left the cemetery and went to Brad’s hometown bar for dinner and drinks.  Tony was able have some drinks with his friends, and unwind.  I know we were all excited to get together for a happy event!

 

The next day, we met Lynsay to drive to the site where Brad was killed.  She talked about that day, how she found out he had been shot, and details that until then, I hadn’t know.  I think it was helpful for both Lynsay and Tony for her to share that day’s events with him as we drove to the site.  At the site, a beautiful memorial has been created, and Tony was able to leave his white dress gloves and a coin there.  We spent the afternoon with Lyns and baby Kadence, and had dinner together.  We reminisced a lot, and also shared excitement over Lynsay’s pregnancy.

Sometimes a picture can tell the story better.  And, in Tony’s own words….from his Facebook:

On Thursday, I finally had the honor to lay my white dress gloves on top of Brad’s gravesite. Then on Friday, I laid them down on their final resting place….at the memorial site where Brad had fallen…..along with a coin I carried with me everyday since Sept 13, 2012.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

I love you brother —

Saturday evening, Tony was able to see more friends at Brian and Amanda’s birthday party.  It was another fun time…getting together to celebrate a happy event.

This is Tony with Paul, the lifesaver at the airport!

Sunday, we went to church with Tony’s family, then spent the entire day at our house with both of our families.  It was nice to just relax, and be at home together.  Monday, we went shooting with some friends.

Me shooting Tony’s gun, an AR

Tony then reported to Allentown, where he is still on active duty finishing out his orders.  Those first few days he was home were very busy!  Last Saturday, we hosted (another? didn’t we just have one???) welcome home party.  Over 50 people stopped in throughout the afternoon and evening, and so Tony was able to see many more friends and family.

One of the Marines thought ahead and put his pop up trailer in our backyard

Us

The Marines

The Marines (and Brad’s dad and brother) doing a shot for Brad

 

Welcome Home Tony!  I thank God for bringing you home safely once again.

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