EJ had completed his training in tank school, excelled, and landed himself a prime position in his detachment. He would be inside a tank, which we all breathed relief upon learning...because in the words of some former tank guys..."he was as safe as a baby in it's mother's arms" as long as he was inside the tank.
What we SHOULD have known, and accounted for..was EJ's personality. He was a go-getter. He went after things that interested him at 100 mph. I feel guilt, as does his grandfather (we were among the male role models in his life) that we bestowed some of that life and work ethic in him. He was raised by a gracious woman, and he was instilled with a selfless value by her. He was rebellious in his teen years, but who among us wasn't?
I saw EJ mature into a fine young man and I had a great amount of pride in him when he found his purpose at 22 years of age. I wandered in and out among different stations in life and never really settled down until the late age of 26.
So EJ was ahead of me in his quest for his life to have meaning. And have meaning it did.
EJ recieved the Army's Achievement Award by the time he'd been enlisted a year. He pulled ahead of countless others in Tank School. This duck had found his pond. It was a natural progression for him, and he walked it comfortably.
I miss him terribly, but I am so proud that he was one of the many who's self-sacrifice paved the way to freedom and democracy for people HE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW.
I ask that if you read this, you pray that God can lay his hand on EJ's mother and keep her thoughts on the great things that EJ achieved in a mere 23 years...that some men NEVER achieve even when they live to be 100.