*BEST OF DTB #190* The Catholic Defender: In Memory of an Older Brother

Posted by John Benko - May 28th, 2012

Growing up, I didn’t really get the chance to get to know my oldest Brother, David.

He was 6 years older than I was and very involved in sports when I was still in grade school. David was a standout wrestler and football player.

I grew up following his footsteps in playing sports, but I never had some of the opportunities he had, especially football.

He was a great football player who had much potential, almost went into pro-football before he joined the Marine Corps.

The Marines changed is life forever. He served in Viet Nam and been in several skirmishes, my Mother spoke of the time he had been lost in the jungle getting separated from his patrol due to a “Firefight”.

He had to survive and make his way back while being in enemy territory. That was never easy as you could not light a fire in the bush, you could invite someone you do not want to welcome into your camp. Plus there are alot of traps set out that could kill you in the jungle.

David would survive Viet Nam, but he didn’t survive the anti-war climate that was everywhere. When David’s enlistment was completed, he began going to a local college trying get his life back in order. Everytime he would drive into town, the local police would always mess with him. They would harass him, reminding me of the movie, “First Blood” with Sylvester Stallone.

David would end up moving away from home (Missouri) going ultimately to Seattle Washington where he began working at a hospital helping the physical therepy department.

After about two years David was planning to get married. Unfortunately, he was killed before the marriage.

The killers were never found but David is not forgotten. His family still remembers and honors his service to this Country and this Memorial Day I want to say this prayer on his behalf:

I saw a soldier kneeling down,
for this was the first quiet place he had found.
He had traveled through jungles, rivers and mud
He’d tasted sweat and shed his blood.

He folded his hands and looked to the sky
I saw his tears, as they welled in his eyes.
He spoke to God, and this is what he said.
“God Bless my men, who now lie dead;

I know not what You have in mind,
but when You judge them, please be kind
when they come before You, they will be poorly dressed
but they’ll walk proudly, for they have done their best.

Their boots will be muddy and their clothes all torn
but these clothes they have so proudly worn.
Their hearts will be still and cold inside,
for they have fought their best and did so with pride.

So please take care of them as they pass Your way
the price of freedom they’ve already paid.”

AMEN!


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