I was given this cross in November of 2014 by my commanding Officer while stationed in Livorno, Italy. That day I had spent it in Northern Italy performing a Veterans Day rememberance service for American vets that had died during WWII while serving in Italy. After returning from the long day of honoring those who had served I met my wife for a sandwich and some soup on base before her journey home after she got of work. I had asked her to come watch me play the drums because my band had learned a few more songs and I wanted her opinion about them. As I sat behind the drum set I watched her finish her meal, get up and give me a wave goodbye as she walked out the door to go home. About 20 minutes later the session had ended and I was on my way home myself. About 5 minutes into my journey home I received a phone call from my commander asking me to return back to base because there was something that had happened and she needed to brief me on the matter. As soon as I heard that I instantly knew something was wrong. I decided to get off the freeway but could never find my way back to base as I was really wanting to finish my journey home. So, I got back on the freeway and in 2 minutes I came upon a 2005 Dodge 1500 upside down facing the wrong direction on the freeway….my worst nightmare was coming true. In an instant I knew what had happened. My wife had passed away in a tragic car accident coming home from work on Veterans Day.
Rebekah, oh how I miss your smiling face every single day and the warmth you brought to our home. Ever since you have left me, I have been lost in life while needing your words of wisdom and guidance. I try daily to ensure that I make you proud even though you are not with me but the struggle is real and sometimes defeating, however, I will continue this fight knowing that you are watching me. I love you my Sheila and only wish that you could be here holding my hand…