|PFC Jeffrey Rice|
On July 19, 2012, a local serviceman from our hometown was killed in Afghanistan while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom. His name was PFC Jeffrey Rice and he was 24 years old. I have such a huge respect for our military personnel, but like a lot of people I am guilty of taking my freedom for granted and going about my day to day life. I know that there is a war going on but it isn't in the forefront of my mind on a daily basis. This morning was different for me.
Today Jeffrey's body was being brought back home to Troy, Ohio after arriving at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. We got up early this morning because we wanted to show our respect for him and let his family know that we appreciated the sacrifice he made for our country and our freedom. It was a very emotional military procession with hundreds of people lining the streets, waving flags as the hearse carrying Jeffrey passed by us. The entire procession last only a little over a minute, but I must say it was a minute that will forever change my life and I will never forget this morning.
I personally want to thank all of our military personnel, past and present. The gift of freedom, that I enjoy everyday, comes with a price. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for sacrificing your life and time with your loved ones so I can live free in this amazing country. Thank you for all of the families of these military personnel. You sacrifice too, and it doesn't go unnoticed. I want to thank Jeffrey's mother for raising such a wonderful young man. As I stood there this morning with my own child next to me, many of the tears I shed were for you. From one mother to another, I can not fathom what you must be going through right now. Lastly, I want to again thank you Jeffrey for the ultimate sacrifice. Land of the free, and home of the brave? Only because of men and women like YOU!