A Father's Son

A memorial for the last hour of Memorial Day:

On May 1, I started wearing a red memorial bracelet in honor of Marine PFC Brandon Sturdy. PFC Sturdy was sitting next to my son in the back of a Humvee on May 13, 2004, when an IED went off just outside Fallujah. PFC Sturdy died in the blast; my son was seriously wounded, but came home and recovered. The difference for those two young men, and their families, was about the distance traveled by a half turn of the Humvee wheels.

My son, a Navy corpsman, was the last person to attend to PFC Sturdy. He did so with his uniform still on fire, for which he received a Navy Commendation Medal with Valor designation, along with a Purple Heart. Everything I could find out about PFC Sturdy is in the little memorial below. When someone dies at the age of 19, there often isn’t a lot to find out.

May is the month of my son’s birth, Brandon’s death, and Memorial Day, which we’re celebrating today. It’s an appropriate time to put on the bracelet.