There is a special place in this world and the next for the healers. This is especially true for a very special breed of healer.
Those that truly know what it means to be of the brotherhood, that know honor and courage in a way others never will, know that breed. For they have seen that healer appear and rush towards them when all others would turn and run. They know in the depths of their souls that this person would truly give their life to help save theirs, for they risk without hesitation their life to help those fallen and in need. That they will tend to all, no matter what.
Military history is filled with such people, those who risked all to heal those in need. For all that there were, there are never enough. For it takes a very special person to join that group, and the number we have is now one fewer.
SSG Brian Cowdrey was one of this very special breed. A loving husband to his wife Jill, a devoted father to his children, brother, and son. He was so very proud that his oldest son, Justin, had also chosen to serve, passed basic, and was now a 15T with a flight crew. His middle son, Nathan, has dreams of West Point and his youngest son, Jacob wants to make a positive difference in this world -- just like his dad. Jacob has posted this for you to see:
This was not the first time Brian had risked all to help another. I send you here, to read a final interview with him; here to read one of several stories about him from Soldiers' Angels Germany; and, here to see another video.
Brian had options in life, but chose to re-enlist. He also chose to do that which was his calling, and rather than take an instructor slot at Ft. Rucker, he chose to be with "his guys" in Afghanistan. Truly, no greater love.
Those of mean and venal nature can n'er understand. Those of normal courage can but stand in awe. For there are those who do not hesitate, who go where angels fear to tread, to bring hope and healing to those in desperate straights.
Please take a moment to follow the links, to read a bit about this man. Keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers now and in the days ahead. In time, their pain will fade, but one thing that never will is his love for them, and the last full measure of devotion he gave.
Staff Sgt. Robert B. Cowdrey, 39. KIA 13 October 2011, Kunar provence, Afghanistan.