It’s always interesting to see how God connects people. In January 2010, Brent was sitting in medical at USMC boot camp, waiting to be ‘dropped’ into a new company to finish his training. I wasn’t sure what to expect—I’d made some good friends with the moms of Delta Company, and having to shift to a new group (already well established, I might add) is never my favorite thing to do. But God always provides, sometimes in interesting ways. :) One of the Mike Company moms was friends with an east coast homeschooling friend of mine. Dorothy ‘introduced’ us, and we became Marine Mom friends. I met Phyllis briefly at Brent’s graduation from boot camp…she was there watching her 2nd Marine finish. It was so nice to have an ‘experienced’ mom to encourage me! She was always willing to listen, to answer questions, to share her wisdom and her love. Her zest for life is contagious! (We’ve continued to stay in touch, even though Brent is no longer active duty. Once a MoM (Mom of a Marine), always a MoM!) She understood it all, having been there before with her firstborn, as well as going through it with her 2nd and waiting for her 3rd to head off to boot camp. Yes, Phyllis has 3 Marines. Her husband is retired Air Force, so she understands military life. And it’s risks.
Wednesday night Phyllis, her husband Dave, their other children, and their daughter in law Sarah received the news noone ever wants to get. Corporal Philip McGeath, deployed to Afghanistan and due home in just 2 weeks, was killed in action by a suicide bomber. My heart breaks for this family. So dedicated to service, they are paying the ultimate price. And there’s no way to help alleviate the pain for them. Anything I can say feels so much like a platitude. I can’t begin to understand the depth of their pain…I can only imagine. It takes me to places I never want to go, especially knowing my own son is likely reenlisting.
Today, Phyllis, Dave, and their children flew to Dover AFB to receive Philip’s body and bring it home. There will be a service on Saturday January 28 in Arlington, TX. With all my heart I wish I could be there.
Rest in peace, Philip. Your courage and service to this country will not be forgotten. Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed. Your family will not be alone through this—they will be held up by the prayers of those who love them.
Philip McGeath and his mom, Phyllis
Philip and Sarah, July 2010.