Chair Force Engineer

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Folded Hands for Folded Wings

During the course of America's battles for Afghanistan and Iraq, I've had friends deploy to the Area of Responsibility, friends who are currently deployed there (one of whom just volunteered for a 6-month extension,) and friends who are preparing to deploy. I have been fortunate in that, until today, I have never had to attend a memorial service.

Two weeks ago, Team Kirtland suffered its first loss during the terror wars. Staff Sergeant Christopher Frost, a public affairs NCO, perished along with seven airmen of the Iraqi Air Force when their helicopter crashed in a dust storm. I did not know SSgt Frost personally, but I wanted to make an effort to know a man who wore his uniform with pride and went about his job with great zeal, touching lots of people in the process.

Chris Frost cared about his mission and believed in his purpose when he was deployed to Iraq. He recognized the sacrifices being made by the Iraqi people in rebuilding a nation that has known nothing but continual warfare for longer than he or I have been alive. It is telling that on his final mission, he was the sole American traveling aboard the Iraqi Air Force Mi-17 helicopter, trying to tell the story of Iraq's fledgling Air Force.

Losing a young man in a freak accident of that nature is never easy to accept. The people who wear the uniform put themselves at great risk, even if they aren't dodging bullets on a daily basis, and even if they aren't deployed to the Area of Responsibility. We must go through life with the goal of making the most of each day we are given. We never know when our number is going to be called.

My heart is a bit heavier knowing that SSgt Frost is no longer with us to share his humor and zeal. We can only pray for the family he leaves behind, and hope that his children will be able to grow up proud of all that their father accomplished during a life that was too short but lived to the utmost.