The Born's in Cameroon
|Posted by borns on October 1, 2009 at 7:50 AM|
I just received news that a classmate of my daughter Christi was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan. He was 2 classes ahead of her in High school so we didn't know him well. His name: Lance Cpl. Jordan Chrobot. Another friend posted a page honoring him on facebook. Here is a post on the facebook page set up for him. Although I have been corrected in calling a Marine a soldier (by those I support) I think it was so well written that I wanted to post it here. Our prayers go out to the families of all who have fallen and our thanks go out to all who are willing to put themselves in harms way to keep us safe and free!!
A debt we can never repay. Interestinglyenough, he never would have asked us to. He chose to leave the comfortsof his home town and enlist in the Marine Corps to serve. He joined anelite brotherhood of men who come from every town, city, borough andvillage in America. They are rich and poor, tall and short, Catholicand Protestant. Some are Republicans, some are Democrats. Many havenever voted. Some shave beards their first morning in Basic Training.Others have never needed to shave. Some have come straight from highschool; others have left college, in search of something ?more?. Othersdecide to enlist as a way to pay for college. Some have enlisted justto ?put food on the table?, while others have joined out of a sense ofPatriotism. This is the case often since the attacks of 9/11. And stillothers join because they have wanted to be a soldier or a Marine for aslong as they can remember. He was one of those.
HE is JordanChrobot. Oddly enough, one of the most difficult things aboutdiscussing him is whether to refer to him as ?is? or ?was?. Jordan waskilled in combat on Saturday, September 26, 2009. He was not just anumber, or a name, or a ?U.S Service member?, or a ?U.S. Marine?. Hewas his mother?s son, her ?baby boy?, a blue-eyed, blonde haired bundleof mischief with a sarcastic wit and dimples that lit up a room. Hespent countless days at his mother?s side as a Civil War re-enactor.Others often remarked that he always took the re-enactments to heartand ?was? a soldier. Being a soldier was at the very core of who Jordanwas.
His mom, and my dearest friends, Kandy Poole Johns, awokeSaturday morning and started it the way she started most Saturdaymornings. She and the girls, Morgan and her ?bestie?, Jill, were in thekitchen of their log home, preparing breakfast. Kandy had always wanteda log cabin, and her husband Jerry had built her dream home in theheart of the Shenandoah Valley. Her posts on Facebook often refer toher beautiful piece of Paradise in the mountains. She treasures thehours she spends sitting in the swing on the back deck reading.
Saturdaymorning, her youngest, Connor, came into the kitchen from the back deckto tell her that Daddy needed her outside. Still wearing her robe, shestepped onto the deck?and time stopped. Standing in her driveway weretwo marines in their dress uniforms (the Marines refer to them as?Dress A?s?;). This uniform inspires awe in most who see it. Walkthrough an airport anywhere in the country and all eyes seem to followa Marine in uniform. All who wear it exude pride and confidence andstrength. That said, it is the absolute worst, most heart-stopping,terrifying sight that any mother or wife whose son or husband isserving in combat can ever find in her driveway.
Now Kandyfound herself gazing upon that very image in her own driveway. Here, inher little corner of Paradise, tucked away in the beautiful ShenandoahValley of Virginia. Hell had come to Paradise. Jordan was gone. Thiswas not happening. It made no sense. But he is gone.
The worldlost a hero when Jordan was taken from us. He was a Marine, a soldier,a hero, a defender. He stepped into the breach and made the consciousdecision to defend those who were defenseless, to protect those whocould not protect themselves. He is with his Heavenly Father. He is inHeaven. He is alive in our hearts forever. His sacrifice was not invain. He inspires us all to selfless acts of heroism. He lived his lifeto serve and protect others.
He was not drafted. He was notforced or coerced. He was not mislead. He joined with his eyeswide-open. He served in Iraq. Then he served in Afghanistan. Heventured thousands of miles from home to a treacherous Mountain regionin a country most cannot identify on a map. He did it to prevent theevil that lurks in those mountains from visiting itself upon Americansoil. He did it so that he could know that he was preventing the nextWorld Trade Center or Pentagon or Shanksville, Pennsylvania. He did notdo it for accolades, or medals or fame or fortune.
The averageLance Corporal makes less than $2500/month, which works out to lessthan $15 an hour, assuming a 40-hour work week. Then again, Marinesdon?t do 40 hour weeks. They are on 24/7 in a combat zone. Even whenthey are ?off duty? they stand ready to answer the call of acomrade-in-arms who is in harm?s way. Assuming only an 80-hour week,that hourly pay is less than $7.50, making it as lucrative to work atMcDonalds, and very few people ever get shot at for failing to includea straw with an order.
So why is Jordan no longer with us? Whyhas Kandy lost her ?baby boy?? Why has Amber lost her husband? Why hasher status changed in an instant from ?married? to ?widow?? Why haveConnor and Morgan and Casie lost a big brother? Why have grandparentslost a grandson? Why have countless friends lost a friend? BecauseJordan was a soldier. Because he is a hero. Because he chose to defendthe defenseless. Because it was the right thing to do.
Thoseof us left behind will mourn. It is the way God wired us. We will shedcountless tears and spend many sleepless nights. We will always wonderwhat might have been. Some of you knew Jordan. Others are onlyfortunate enough to know his mom, his dad, his stepdad, or hisgrandparents, or his siblings, or his aunts, uncles, cousins, friendsor any one of the countless others his life changed. Each of us isricher for the life he lived. We must lean on one another and God ourFather for strength and understanding.
I told Kandy tonightthat the hole in her heart will never be filled by Jordan again. Godwill not fill that hole in the way we understand it. Instead, that holecan be transformed into a garden that God Himself tends. It will be aquiet place of peace that Kandy can return to again and again, whereshe can be alone with Jordan. Over time that garden will grow to be alush place, full of goodness and happiness and joy. Kandy?s memories ofJordan can never be taken from her. Farewell Jordan. Semper Fi. Be withGod. Rest in Peace.
Lance Corporal Jordan Chrobot USMC
(Jan 2, 1985 ? Sep 26, 2009)
Son, Husband, Brother, Friend, Warrior, Hero