I could have never imagined lightning of this magnitude striking twice...
I vividly remember doing my share of the eulogy writing. All were crafted unique and full of personal experiences that I valued of my time with that person up until the last paragraph.
No one just ends up in a unit like this, like a Marine Raider. There is a lot of hard work, discipline and dedication that most are familiar with from viewing movies.
What people do not see is the time away from home the strain on the family, and eventually, the majority become some sort of walking wounded. The members of this unit and others like it are still so completely dedicated to the organization that their bodies, their marriages, what’s left of their mental bandwidth, and eventually their overall happiness are willingly handed over just so they can spend as long as they can with the men they truly love and for what? So that we can protect each other through the hard times and be in good company when stepping off into the frey. This organization knows combat and knows its place amongst the elite. We know the risks of combat and at times lose one of these great Americans doing what they do best and what they truly love. I challenge you to try to find a picture of a close team that is not smiling from ear to ear with some of the best people he will ever know.
Getting back to finishing the eulogy’s... I could never place the correct words together that would justify the magnitude of the individual and the circumstances because these tragedies are a very different monster.
The best I could do was speak how I felt at that given moment and the more I ponder and dwelled on my portion from 2015, I still feel that I could not add or take away my parting shot was this:
“I don’t know why these things happen to such great people, It doesn’t make sense to me, it haunts me and keeps me up at night asking that questions I will never get an answer to. I loved every single one of those men. However, what has got me here today and what I hold on to is: if this event “HAD” to happen, these true examples of fearless professionals would not have wanted to be in any other place, any other situation, and with and other people, they gave their last breath with their brothers who they loved”.
Just as I did a few years back I’m here to help with whatever I can and I’ll always pick up the phone to be of assistance. I look forward to talking with whoever and I might be able to help with a little insight.
“We the willing, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, with so little, for so long, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”
TO THE MEN OF 31
Fair Winds and Following Seas
Never Above You, Never Below You, Always Beside 'You
SSgt. Jon Stevens (Ret)
2D Raider Bn, Hotel Co.
Critical Skills Operator TF 8231
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