I first met Shannon when our grandparents (both widowed) got married. We were probably about 10 or 11 years old. I don't think that any of us were initially happy about the marriage only because it's hard to accept a new person as your grandparent. Those feelings quickly fell by the wayside when we
all got to witness how much they loved each other and how much they loved us. His grandpa loved us like his own and my grandma loved him and his cousins like her own. During those years we spent a lot of time at Grandma and JR's house. One summer in particular we practically lived there. We would go swimming in the pond, go to Shannon's baseball games, and in the evening have ice cream at the Creme Corner :-) I remember my 2 cousins and I living in the upstairs of the house and thinking we were so big! We decorated it and pretended that it was our little apartment. LOL! I will treasure those memories forever!
As we sat in the funeral yesterday, we were able to hear how Shannon had impacted hundreds and thousand of other lives as well. How he was an accomplished and honored soldier. Brig.General David Phillips spoke at the funeral and told how Shannon had saved his life on more than one occasion....how Shannon was the first soldier EVER hand picked by the US Secret Service to be counter sniper security for the President of The United States. He was one of the best!
He was a member of the 545th MP Co, stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska, he was deployed to Iraq in May. A trained sniper, he had been awarded numerous citations and decorations including: The Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Combat Action Badge, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Iraq and Kosovo Campaign Medals.Upon leaving the funeral service at the church, we began the journey to the graveside ceremony. I cannot even begin to tell you what an overwhelming feeling it is to see hundreds of people line the sides of the road in his honor. Fire trucks put up their flag draped ladders, elderly ladies stood with their flags, school children were released from school early, moms stood with their tiny babies, and factory workers were given time off to pay their tributes. We saw people with their hands over their hearts and people wiping tears from their faces. People who were caught in the traffic back up got out of their cars and stood in honor.....All for Shannon!
Shannon died fighting for our country...for us! Yesterday, I could feel the American pride oozing out of every pore of my body! I don't care if you support this war or not, I don't care if you support our president or not......EVERYONE should support our troops who are voluntarily putting their lives on the line daily for you and for me!