Jared William. It1 petty class officer. My uncle loved what he did. He felt bad to the bone but he was also fighting for his country. Ever since he was in middle school he knew he wanted to be a seal. He was always top of his training, whether it was boot camp, ROTC or SEAL training. He was a very ambitious, brave, kindhearted and selfless man. I was lucky to call him my uncle and to have been so close to him. Jared lost his life in Afghanistan on August 6th 2011. He will always be my hero.
Having just seen my uncle two months prior I was basically counting down the days until he would come home. He had promised he would be back in just six short months. I was working the night shift with my dad. He works for Nevada power in Vegas, we were on the water treatment routine. We were having a blast for a night at work. Joking around and mixing solutions with my father were some of the best times I have had with him. While we were on a fifteen minute break my dad got a devastating phone call.
I remember sitting there watching my dad’s facial expression completely change. He then rushed us to the main building so that we could get on the landline phone for a clear sound. My Aunt TT had to deliver the worst news of our lives. He was on the phone and then he dropped to his knees and slammed his fist on the desk all at the same time. He ran outside with his face red and his eyes puffy. I was scared, and I felt cold. I looked around and it felt like I was the only one in the room. Shmi, my father’s boss, walked in right after talking to my dad, with a pale look on his face, as if he had seen a ghost. Shmi wasn’t a quiet guy, he was one that always had something to say.
“Did he say what happened?” I asked as my voice shaked.
“You better wait for him to tell you.” He replied
We sat in the board room silent for ten minutes, waiting for my dad. The room was so silent you could hear a pin drop. I had a sick feeling in my stomach and knots in my throat. I had a million things racing through my mind all at once. I was worried about my mom and my little sister. I sat in the chair preparing myself for what was to come next. No matter how much I prepared myself it would never be enough for what I was about to hear.
My dad walked back into the room, while his face was red and swollen, he looked pale and drained. He couldn’t make eye contact with me. He asked me to walk back outside with him. While we were walking out I saw his knuckles were broken and bleeding. I figured he had punched the rough and rigged brick wall covering the exterior of the building. We walked down the long hall to the wide double doors leading us outside. It was dark and chilly, I shivered and folded my arms to keep warm.
Still unable to make eye contact, he looked at me. It felt as if he was looking right past me, talking to someone else. He opened his mouth trying to spit the words out but failing to do so. Finally, he quietly told me why he was so upset.
“Your uncle Jared was flying in a helicopter and was shot down, I’m sorry honey but Jared is dead.” He forced out.
I looked at him in disbelief. I had just seen my uncle two months ago, there was no way my dad was telling me I would never see him again. I knew those words were going to be burned in the back of my head for the rest of my life. I fell to the ground and screamed in frustration and denial. I couldn’t move. My dad had to pick me up and carry me out to the truck. We drove back home with tears streaming down our faces. I still couldn’t believe it. My uncle was really gone and I couldn’t face it.