What was an unbelievably beautiful day weather wise, became a little less beautiful this afternoon. I got home from work today just in time to walk to the corner to the to view a full military procession carrying home the body of Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Antonik who was killed earlier this week Afghanistan. He was 29. Just got married in December. 3rd tour of duty, 2 in Iraq, 1 in Afghanistan. I did not know the man nor did the hundreds of people lining the streets for 6-7 miles to view the procession. But, as the line of city, state, and federal vehicles, motorcycles, fire trucks, police cars, and family of the deceased went by, it sure felt as if he was your friend or your brother. As sad and depressing as it is to view such an open and public event like this, I really believe its a good thing. For some reason its all to easy to forget we are in a war and it is real. All those people involved or spectating were there just to pay their respect and show support for his family. Perhaps the most troubling thing about this is that this is the 5th procession into Crystal Lake in less than 2 years for fallen soldiers.
As I was driving home, I was getting upset with the traffic. Here it is a beautiful day. I'm starting a week's vacation as soon as I get home. I want to go drop the boat in the water and start having fun. An event like this kind of jolt's you back into reality and makes you realize how many of our daily problems are pretty petty. Thank you Marine Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Antonik and your family for your service to our country. Some people do realize and appreciate what you have done for us.