Saturday, January 7, 2012

A fallen hero

I feel compelled to write about this event, this tragedy. I realize this is not my typical banter, but it is a story that simultaneously rips my heart into pieces, and then heals it and fills it full of hope and love.

As many of you know, I live in Greenville, South Carolina--an area also known as 'The Upstate'. 

On December 27, PFC Justin Whitmire, a soldier from the Upstate, was killed in Afghanistan. He was a mere 20 years old, and he died after having been deployed for less than 1 month.

Less Than One. Month.

Twenty years old.

I did not know PFC Whitmire, but he was from where I call home. He attended a high school that is a short drive down the interstate from mine. But more than anything, he was a hero, serving our country.

So when the word spread that the group that calls themselves "Christians" was planning to boycott PFC Whitmire's funeral, I was enraged. I was hurt for his family, his friends, for myself as a Christian. I do not believe hate can be used to spread God's word. Hate breeds hate.

But as quickly as word spread that these people were planning to boycott, members of this great state in which I live fought back. 

A Facebook group popped up, urging people to come support the family and friends, and pay their respects. Various news outlets, radio stations, etc. pledged attendance and/or support. The South Carolina members of the Patriot Guard announced that they would be in attendance as well.

My Facebook friends were posting and re-posting information, urging everyone who could, to show up in support of this fallen hero.

And did they ever!

{the following images courtesy of Patriot Guard rider and fellow Soldiers' Angels member Lori Peoria}

Look closely at the picture below. The people go on forever, it seems.

According to reports, 3,000 or more people showed up to mourn this fallen hero. To honor his memory, and to be certain that no radical group could interrupt or infringe upon this family's right to grieve and memorialize PFC Whitmire. 

Guess who did NOT show up?

So to all of the supporters, the friends, the Patriot Guard riders, the church groups, the wonderful people in this awesome place I call home--wow. What a wonderful, wonderful tribute of respect.

PFC Justin Whitmire, I humbly thank you for your courageous service.

May you rest in peace.

{for more images, please click here}


  1. Thank you for posting about this. I am always so happy to see the communities come out and support fallen soldiers and overwhelm those "other" groups. I attended the funeral of a hero and one of the radical groups was there with signs etc.... I have never felt so angry.
    So as a former soldier and an American, thank you for posting

  2. Thousands gathered to honor this soldier and his family as a tribute to his willingness to serve and defend the freedoms we so often abuse. Let's not forget that we are at war and his death along with others were at the the hands of godless muslim bastards!

  3. Be glad that I have been saved by Grace in Jesus Christ or there would be much blood.

  4. Thank you for posting this. When "Christians" do something so hateful it is so good to fight back and show the world that they do not represent Christianity or Christ. Thank you for posting this.

    And thank you, PFC Justin Whitmire for your courageous service and your sacrifice.

  5. Thank you for starting out my day with this story. The pictures brought me to tears.

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I have such a soft spot in my heart for our service members, and this is really a touching story.

    Thank you

  7. Beautiful tribute♥ Godspeed, PFC Whitmore. I am grateful.

  8. Beautiful tribute ♥ Godspeed, PFC Whitmore. I am grateful.


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