Mind, body and the warrior
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Sergeant Earl Werner--Someone You Should Know

I'm asking You God, to give me what You have left.
Give me those things which others never ask of You.
I don't ask You for rest, or tranquility.
Not that of the spirit, the body, or the mind.
I don't ask You for wealth, or success, or even health.
All those things are asked of You so much Lord,
that you can't have any left to give.
Give me instead Lord what You have left.
Give me what others don't want.
I want uncertainty and doubt.
I want torment and battle.
And I ask that You give them to me now and forever Lord,
so I can be sure to always have them,
because I won't always have the strength to ask again.
But give me also the courage, the energy,
and the spirit to face them.

I ask You these things Lord,
because I can't ask them of myself.

On active duty, they call it the “20/20 rule” when they talk about National Guard Soldiers.  For those who don’t know, that means “20 years older and 20 pounds heavier.”

Earl Werner however, was not one of those guys.

I came home to read my e-mail at work to find out that we were flying the flag for Sergeant Earl Werner at half staff because he had died from wounds from an IED strike while escorting a convoy in Iraq. 

On Friday, Sgt. Earl Werner, 38, from Amboy, Wash., was killed in Rashid, Iraq, when the convoy was struck in a roadside bombing.


Werner was on his third deployment with the National Guard, after serving with the 162nd Infantry in 2004 and with the 234th Engineer Company in 2007. For his service, Werner was awarded the Bronze Star, two Army Commendation Medals and the Combat Action Badge.

He is survived by his wife, Casey, and son, Charles, 19, both of Amboy, in rural Clark County. On Saturday, the family was traveling to Dover, Md., for the arrival of Werner's coffin,…

When I got home from work, I rushed into my spare room where I put my things that go with my uniforms and jerked open the drawer where I put my old leaders book (I haven’t had Joes in awhile working in this staff job) and I ripped it open and began furiously flipping through the pages.

And there, four pages in, clipped into the "personnel" section, was all the essential information a leader could need on one Sergeant (then Specialist) Earl Werner.

Earl you see, at one point, belonged to me.  He was mine.

I was suddenly overwhelmed with a massive wave of guilt that I had been on vacation in Florida seeing my in-laws while he was in Iraq. I suddenly felt as if what I was doing at that time really wasn't all that important. 

I remember Earl as someone who was dedicated to the premise that if you are going to come to drill and be part of the unit, then you should give your best and strive for excellence, and, as is the case with most guys like Earl, they believe that the best way to do your job is to get out there and do it.

And I am forever grateful that there are men and women who have been willing to give away all of their tomorrows so that that I could be safe and so that we can be free.  I have been on the ramp and placed the flag draped stretcher on the bird to send them home to their families and it never gets easier.  The feelings from those days is never really too far away.

My prayers go out for strength for his family in this time of unbelievable loss.  I am glad to have known him.

I don't know how to thank someone for making the freedom I enjoy possible.  All I can do is to do my best to ensure that I am worthy of what you have given for my family....

Thank you Earl and may your eternal soul rest in the peace and tranquility that you so richly deserve....