Of course it's been a sleepless night. We cannot believe that this is real. Being visited by the amazing Army officers we were visited by was a bit of a reality jolt. But greeting Elijah when he arrives home by private jet... that could be the hardest. The Army will be escorting him throughout every step in this process until our final goodbyes and the respect and dignity these fine young men display is most impressive indeed. The officer who gave us the news yesterday (accompanied by a chaplain) was so moved to tears that it was extremely difficult for him to complete his task. He told us he has lost 19 of his men and though he is trained to retain composure, he himself was overwhelmed.
Elijah's mother and I cannot begin to express to ALL of you how very much your thoughts, prayers, and genuinely shared grief means to us. I have made friends with many of you around one of our favorite subjects, flashlights, and to hear from you again in this thread is moving to me.
I have read every post in this thread, perhaps three or four times over and never realized how much it could help to know that so many understand and genuinely care. Thank you all so, so, so very much for taking the time and effort to post here. It means much more to us than you possibly realize. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Sharon asks me to tell you that she knows she going to see Elijah again. She is so heartbroken. Thanks so much.
Don & Sharon