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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
 
Sergeant James Kinlow, United States Army
by Cordeiro
I came across this article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution by way of Mudville this morning.

Sergeant Kinlow was killed by a roadside bomb in Baghdad this past Sunday. He leaves behind a wife, Daphanie, and two children, Chauncey - 15 and Chelsea - 10.

The outpouring of support from their community is truly remarkable.

Godspeed, Sergeant Kinlow.

Now if I may be so bold, and because its my blog, I will, I'd like to say a few words to Chauncey.

You've lost your father. Words will mean little to you now, and that is as it should be. Each of us grieves in our own way. What struck me from what I read about you was your decision to quit your football team because your #1 fan wouldn't be there anymore to see you play.

This is your decision to make - nobody can make it for you. That said, keep in mind the 30 sweaty team mates that showed up at your door and declared themselves part of your family. I'm pretty sure nobody put them up to that. As far as I know, the only thing high school football players do without being forced is eat cheeseburgers. Whatever your coach told you, remember it. Coaches have a unique way to telling you what you need to hear. Most of the time its stuff like "stay low, stay square, and keep moving". Other times its just words of support. Listen to him. When he told your mom that getting back on the field might do you some good, he's right.

In the coming days, you will bury your father. A flag will drape his casket, rifles will crack their salute, and a bugle will sound taps as a grateful nation honors one of her fallen sons. His life will be celebrated. His memory will be cherished by all who had the honor and privilege of knowing him.

The last days of this summer will roll on. School will start, and things will go on in the new "normal" that will take the place of the life you've known till now.

My advise to you is to suit up, strap on the pads, buckle your chin strap, and play the greatest game God ever saw fit to give man with complete reckless abandon. You should do this because it will give you an outlet - something to do besides laying on your bed after school. Play the game. Play it well.

I'm sure you're asking me "Why? Why should I?"

The answer is very simple. Your #1 fan has the best seat in the stadium.

Here endeth the lesson.

**UPDATE & BUMP** Here's an article describing the funeral services for Sgt. Kinlow.
3 Comment(s):
Great heartfelt advice. Hope someone close to the boy will say the same thing.
I have known Daphanie and James since childhood. Your blog message is wonderful and I have no doubts that Daphanie will make sure he has a game to watch!!
Hey Chauncey! We don't know each other, but my name is Angela Kinlow, I live in Canton, Oh. I was searching the Kinlow name when I saw the article about your father. Though I don't know who you or your family are, it hurt my heart to read it. I know right now you feel pain and anger, but with time, that will heal. Please don't give up the game. I'm sure thatwas something that made your father proud. If you don't do it for yourself, do it for the honor of your father. Chelsea, always remember the good times you've had with your Dad.
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