Monday, May 14, 2007

Red on Fridays

The following Article was in the local newspaper this past weekend. I met this lady... scrapbooked with her several times. She is a Christian and her testimony thru this has been amazing! She lost her son in Afganastan last month... what a strong, amazing testimony! Remember this... for Friday's!

Why didn't I cry?

Laurie Greenslade
Published Saturday May 12th, 2007
Appeared on page A10
I am the mother of a fallen soldier, who was a friend to many and a hero. Before my son, David Greenslade, boarded the plane to go on his first tour of duty to Afghanistan, I had made a promise to him. On the day of deployment, I swore I would not cry, as he wanted to be strong and positive, the way he had lived his life.

I felt on that day that if I showed tears that he would think I thought he wasn't coming home. It was this promise and my faith that carried me through everything that was to come.

Some people may question my lack of tears during the many interviews I did. My only child had just been taken from me and yet, when the media wanted to talk to us about David, I said yes to every interview.

This was the last opportunity for people to get to know him, his life, dreams, and courage, and to voice how proud we were of him and his sacrifice. I needed to ask for support for his friends, fellow soldiers still in Afghanistan carrying on the mission.

I was strong for David and the rest of the troops. My strength was from the Lord. The power of prayers from friends and our church family kept me from falling apart.

At his funeral service, I still did not cry. This was truly a celebration of David's life, a life that mattered, from uplifting music to heartfelt eulogies from his closest friends. The Easter hymn - the hope we have in a life beyond this short time. This service was opening hearts and minds for Jesus.

This was an opportunity to prove my faith to others, even in the midst of the worst possible event, the loss of a child - my heart.

David's dream was to help children in Afghanistan. He wanted them to enjoy the freedom that he experienced as a child. To be free from land mines, to be able to attend school, not fear for their lives. He wanted each of them to have a childhood. He wanted to make a difference, and I believe he did and his fellow soldiers are carrying on that dream.

Eight-year-old Marshall Howard of Fairvale Elementary School knows firsthand the life of a soldier, as he has family members that have served overseas. A close friend of this family, Pte. Pat LeBlanc, was deployed to Afghanistan in January with our son David. Marshall began wearing red on Friday to show his support for the troops. A simple red t-shirt prompted other kids to ask why. Marshall told them the significance of what he was doing and suggested that they could do the same by the small gesture of wearing something red each Friday. They did.

Since David's death, Marshall and the rest of Fairvale Elementary School have taken a keen interest in the development of the Afghani children, as that was David's dream. I became aware of this when Marshall came to our house with a "Book of Condolences."

I've heard Dave referred to as a "true hometown hero." All the troops serving in Afghanistan are heroes. They sacrifice their comfort, health, (both physical and mental) their dreams, families and futures. They desire to make a positive difference to the Afghani people.

The colour red symbolizes the colour of blood shed by people just like my son and others who paid the ultimate price for Canadians and the Afghani people to live in freedom. Wearing red doesn't necessarily mean you support the political reason why the troops are over there. It means you're supporting them, true heroes who desire to make a difference, a better life for the next generation. It would be as simple as wearing a red t-shirt like Marshall, or a red ribbon pinned to your shirt.

The support that we received from the soldiers, the community and the country has been so positive and uplifting to our spirits. We've had many people ask if there is anything they could do to help us and we respond by saying one thing: wear red on Fridays, every Friday.


Amanda said...

What an inspiring article, Tina...thanks :)

MonaS! said...

That is beautiful. Having lost my cousin in Afghanistan this is a beautiful tribute to those who are there for us - when I see red it will be a reminder!!! Thanx for that.

Kinza said...

You should see my family on Fridays, all decked out in red, me with my support the troops shirt and big bag. We make a pretty people

Tracey said...

Isn't Lori an inspiration?