We were on our way to the Show Of support Banquet when we heard the news. It took a minute to register. A train hit the parade float? What? How is this possible? You know, all the questions that go through your head when something so impossibly awful happens.
We went home, stunned and heartbroken. Thinking of the soldiers who had survived a war and died in a parade in Midland. Neither one of us could sleep.
When I got to work at 5am I just sat in my chair across from Mike and said "I don't know how to prep this show!" It was like the day after 9-11 for us. What to say? What to do? The Show of Support Military Hunt means so much to us! Seven years ago, our son made his committment to serve in the military at the banquet. Something profound that one of these wounded warriors said just sparked something in him and he joined ROTC the next day at Midland Freshman School.
After 4 years in ROTC he graduated from Midland High and went into the Army. He is a trained Cavalry Scout Sniper in Fort Riley, Kansas. ROTC really helped get Eric through High School.
We decided that if we were grieving so was everyone else in the Permian Basin! We parked the truck out front, I grabbed Kelley's jacket from her office (I didn't wear one to work) and what happened over the next 11 hours was an outpouring of sadness, disbelief, horror...and love. What an amazing community we live in!
Thank you for rising to the occasion and helping us raise nearly $48,000 for these soldiers and their families. Thank you for crying with us and letting us cry with you. Thank you for getting out of your cars and giving me hugs (hugs that I desperately needed!) But most of all, thank you for always praying for those men and women who protect this BIG family we call America!