Not all service related deaths are from enemy action. In fact, many happen from accidents, equipment failures, disease and even natural causes.
I remember today Chief Boatswain Mate Richard E. Martin, my friend, coworker and shipmate. He passed away one stormy March night in 1996 of a heart attack. He was just 36 years old.
He left behind a wife and three children. His passing turned their world upside down.
We lived next to Rich’s family at the Coast Guard base on Sandy Hook, NJ. Our kids were just about the same age and played together, went to school and church youth groups together and were very close. Over the years, they still stay in touch.
Today, his daughter posted a picture of her son visiting his grandfather’s grave, the grandfather he never knew.
Please remember not just those that gave their lives in the line of duty, but also their families that were left behind. Their pain will never end.