Lauren's quotes


The Tea Time Book Nook



  1. Two Years Ago Today…

    Everyday growing up started early with my parents waking me up and driving me over to my grandparents house to spend the day. Upon arriving, my grandmother would hand me some breakfast (usually cheese toast) and then we’d settle in and wait for the rest of the grandkids to show up. All of our parents worked full time, so we spent nearly everyday together since birth. There were 13 of us total, and we became something more akin to brothers and sisters. Jacob was the leader of our little band of ragamuffins. He seems to be the center of any story worth telling about those days at Grandmother’s house. (Jacob is the tall one on the far left, and I’m the blond with the orange pants.) 

    Growing up, very little changed in that  respect. He was the light in any room, and cared so much about other people. And he was like a whirling dervish when it came how he spent his time- always unpredictable!

    He was on the track team at his high school as well as being the goalie of his soccer team…

    He spent a few weeks during every summer in high school traveling to various countries to work in orphanages and spend time teaching the children…

    He was part of a community theater group…

    And he sought out every thrill he could find…

    Because of his desire to do EVERYTHING, his career path was uncertain at best. For awhile he repeatedly proclaimed that he was going to move to Jamaica to be a chef! (Why he chose Jamaica, he could never fully explain. He even started to take some classes at a culinary school, and was constantly showing off his new found love…

    He was on the cooking kick for maybe three months, which is about how long all of his other career paths lasted. We were never worried; just curious what he would finally choose. We were all just waiting for something to stick. Something finally did…

    Jacob was so proud when he called me up one day and told me he had joined the army. I was terrified. At the very least it meant that there was a good chance that we would go long periods without seeing each other; at the most, something bad could happen. We were all concerned; he couldn’t just change his mind with this one.

    Little did we know that this was where he belonged. Surprisingly, he took to the army like a fish to water. His superiors describe him as one of the best men they had, and his team still contacts our family to tell us what a light and inspiration he was on the battlefield in Afghanistan. 

    Before he was deployed overseas, he married a girl that he hadn’t known for long yet was totally head of heels in love with. Her name was Allysha; she was 19 and he was 22. 

    About two months after the wedding, Jacob joined his platoon in Afghanistan. He strove to be the best in everything that he did, and quickly gained the respect of both his peers and his superiors. His particular role there was to be part of the two man team working a mortar gun, and he was brilliant at it. He was loyal and brave to the end. Jacob had the opportunity to come home early, but he refused to leave his team behind.  We had to wait another two months for our family to be whole again.

     

    This picture was taken two weeks before he was supposed to come home, and two days before the accident. 

    The reason a mortar gun is operated by two people is because it is so big that you need one person to load the charge and another to aim it. Jacob was in charge of loading. 

    There are two explosions when you fire a mortar gun: one to propel the charge out of the barrel and another when the mortar explodes. That day, the first explosion never happened. The mortar exploded inside the gun- hitting Jacob’s partner with shards of shrapnel. 

    Jacob was unmarked. However, the sheer concussion of the blast killed him before he hit the ground. 

    My only wish is that I am able to leave a legacy as rich as Jacob’s and affect as many people as he did. Over 1000 people attended his funeral and the procession to the Georgia National Cemetery afterwards was more than 4 miles long. He is constantly being honored in various ways. 

    The tears are coming as I write this post. I miss him so much, but I am more proud than anything else. 

    TL;DR