I’ve covered a lot of these. Families say goodbye to sons and fathers – and mothers and daughters. They go off to war and we carry on here.
But either I wasn’t paying enough attention before, or this one was different. Cause it sure felt different.
As one of about 800 people packed into this military hanger feet or inches from someone feeling the depth of emotion these people were was intense. Humbling. Makes you realize the troubles or issues you face daily as an individual pale in comparison to those that these families and servicemen will deal with.
One of the most intense goodbyes I have seen was the one Spc. Jeremy Smith’s family from Monument Valley gave him before he boarded the plane that would take him away from them and on his way to Afghanistan.
They are Navajo.
Each member of the large family hugged him for a long time, then he went on to the next to hug them. His mother must have held him for five minutes, and you could see in their faces that they went through a wide range of emotions in that one hug.
Later I saw Spc. Smith’s mom holding a sign in their native language that read: “Hozho Nahasdlii” which she explained translates roughly to “Walk in Beauty” or “Walk in Harmony”.
Here’s hoping they all can find that path.
Specialist Jeremy Smith says a long goodbye to his girlfriend Semira Crank before he boarded the plane that would take him and the rest of the 118th Engineer Sapper Company on the first leg of his deployment to Afghanistan, Friday July 9, 2010.