On this day of remembrance, I thought I would take time out to remember two soldiers who fell in the line of duty, both of whom I knew in high school.
Mickel Garrigus, a soft spoken and honorable young man was killed some months ago while serving in Iraq. While I didn’t know Mike well, we were on good terms. He was “Garrigus” to me and he would unfailingly smile and chat in the halls. As Garrigus was one of the kindest young men in my small high school, it does not surprise me that he went on to devote himself to family and country.
The second, Matthew Walrod, I was fortunate enough to count as a friend. A Knowledge Bowl teammate, Walrod (as everyone called him) was slightly awkward socially, but at bottom a devoted and caring young man. He was a great teammate who learned his role and worked hard to help our team win. In retrospect, Walrod was the sort of guy who would have struggled to be enemies with anyone.
A Staff-Sargeant in the Air Force, Walrod volunteered to serve in Honduras. As he was a medical technician, Walrod was dubbed “Doc” by those he worked on. It is just the sort of name I imagine suiting Walrod well, and the sort of profession that perfectly fit his kind, generous and helpful temperment.
Walrod was killed in a March 2006 car accident. These are the two men whom I keep in mind when I pray for my friends who are currently serving in the armed services, including our very own Tex. Walrod and Garrigus were kind as high schoolers and obviously grew to be good men. Devoted Christians, both, I look forward to the day when I am able to thank them in person for their sacrifice and service.
(Updated: Silly spelling errors corrected. Thanks, Jim!).