Today, Daniel and I stood on the street. I realize that this phrase sounds funny, but it is exactly what we did. We were not alone, however, nor were we doing anything bad; in fact, we were showing support. See, a soldier from here on the Upper Cumberland died while in Afghanistan. They were bringing his body home and residents of his hometown were supporting his family and thanking him for his service. The entire street had flags stuck in the ground, near the sidewalks. Businesses on the processional route flew flags at half-mast; many also displayed posters of support. Kroger’s even blew up red, white, and blue Kroger balloons. Nearly every marquee on the road had the same saying:
I Googled his name to get a bit more information and I read a few lines that struck me:
“He loved serving his country,” she said. “He just was a really good
person. He loved being in the Army. He believed in what he was doing.”
“He was a real soldier,” his mother recalled. “He believed in his country and he believed in God.”
June would have marked his third year in the Army, and two weeks ago,
Van Aalten signed up to serve for another six years, his mother said.
Praise God for amazing men and women like him. Praise God that Sgt. Van Aalten knows Him as Savior. May God continue to keep all the soldiers safe……but if another amazing soldier falls, may the community come out, stand on the streets, and cover the soldier’s family with prayers as they attempt to heal from their loss.