‘A Little Pink’ Always Colors My Memorial Day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The American Flag flies above the US American Victory Museum & Memorial Ship, Tampa, FL.

Through almost 40 years of reporting – there are stories and people that never leave you.

A Little Pink In A World Of Camo, a military wife’s blog, is where I discovered such a heart-captivating story titled: I Will Always Be A Marine Wife.

I just need to share some sad news with all of my blog friends.

Sad isn’t even the word to describe it, but honestly at this point I can’t find the words to describe it. Angry, empty, crushed, confused, shocked, alone, unglued, hateful, depressed, beaten down… none of these words can do justice to my feelings.

I am being forced to do something that no 23 year old woman should ever have to do. I am being forced to do something that no one should ever have to do, not at this early in life, especially. I am being forced to lay the love of my life, my saving grace, my entire world to rest. …

– Rachel Porto –

And after reporting on their family’s loss, Ariana Porto, her mother Rachel Porto and grandmothers Evelyn Jewell and Rachel Bernaby (Porto’s mother) forever became a part of my Memorial Day remembrances.

I never met him and Corporal Jonathan Porto never held his daughter Ariana.

The closest he got was kneeling down and talking to her through Rachel’s pregnant belly on the day he deployed. An iconic photo of that moment was snapped by another Marine wife. Rachel was unaware at the time, but she ended up featuring the picture at the top of her blog: A Little Pink in a World of Camo.

Porto was one of 10 men killed in his battalion, the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment from Camp Lejeune, while deployed to Afghanistan. He died in March 2010 just shy of his first wedding anniversary.

What will always stay with me is that photo of Jonathan talking to his unborn daughter and the power of Rachel and Jonathan’s relationship. Jonathan made Rachel promise “no moping” while he was gone. And as difficult as the hours, days, months and years may have been since his death, Rachel continues to keep her promise to Jonathan. And she’s continued to write earning a masters’ degree in writing.

Please on this Memorial Day, keep the promise made by President Lincoln, “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.” So, take a moment to remember those who have fallen in service to our country.

My eternal appreciation to all who have allowed me to tell their stories.

 

Advertisements

A Soldier’s Son Shares a Moment with His Departed Daddy

No need for 1,000 words with this picture re-published with the permission of the Facebook page Freedom Isn’t Free and consent from the Wise family.

Traci Wise posted this photo and text April 4, 2012:

Found my son sitting having a moment with his daddy (SFC Benjamin Wise) the other day. We lost him January 15 in Afghanistan… we cannot forget about the incredible loss these children must undertake.

According to BlackFive.net, Wise was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Meritorious Service Medal. And he is survived by his wife, Traci; his sons Luke and Ryan; and his daughter Kailen.

An Uncle Lost Too

According to the Arkansas newspaper, Hope Star, SFC Benjamin Wise’s brother, a former Navy SEAL, was killed in Afghanistan at a CIA outpost in December 2009.

Wife of Fallen Navy SEAL Needs Help Finding Wedding Ring

The actual wedding band on their daughter's toe.

Kimberly Vaughn lost her husband, Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron Vaughn in August. Now, she’s lost the wedding band he left with her while deployed. Vaughn created a Facebook page that details her travel route from Texas to Washington D.C. and asks for help finding the irreplaceable wedding band.

Here’s the information from her page:

Aaron Vaughn (US Navy SEAL) was Killed in Action in Afghanistan on August 6th, 2011. I (Kimberly) wore his wedding band as a constant reminder of our love. Unfortunately I lost it on October 1st while traveling from Houston, TX (Houston George Bush Intercontinental airport) through the Charlotte, NC airport on my way back to Washington DC. Hopefully someone will find it?!

My path of mayhem… Saturday morning, October 1st at 8:30am I left the Super 8 hotel in Deer Park, TX and then returned a rental car (Orange colored Kia Soul) to IAH from Thrifty Rental car.

I checked in for US Airways flight 1864 out of IAH (Houston George Bush Intercontinental) and then went through security boarding my flight at gate A19. I sat in seat 18E of flight 1864.

In Charlotte I switched planes boarding US Airways flight 1327 to DCA (Washington’s Reagan Airport) at gate C13. I did stop at a women’s restroom … hopefully it did not slip off my hand when I washed/dried them… Then a quick stop at TCBY and finally boarded at gate C13. I sat in seat 10A when the horrible realization hit me… I HAD LOST MY HUSBAND’S WEDDING BAND! A flight attendant took every step to help me find it aboard, but to no avail (even dismantling my seat to check every crevice!)

IF YOU HAVE SEEN OR FOUND MY PRECIOUS MEMENTO, PLEASE CONTACT ME, KIMBERLY VAUGHN AT NavySEALring@gmail.com.

%d bloggers like this: