Tuesday, December 19, 2006
2nd Lieutenant Scott B. Lundell - Husband, Father, Hero
There are many things about which I could write today – things humorous, things serious, things trivial. I will lay those things aside today to focus on something that actually matters. Thus I humbly ask for your patient attention as you might have the knowledge and/or means for which I’m searching.
There are many reasons to rejoice this holiday season. This season, however, there is a family in West Valley City, Utah who has been given cause to mourn. I’m talking about the family of the late 2nd Lieutenant Scott B. Lundell. As I have previously written, he died in a firefight on November 25th while bravely leading his men into battle against those who would do this nation great harm. The story of Lt. Lundell’s long journey home has been ably chronicled by Lowell the Hedgehog and plugged by the Powerline’s Big Trunk.
On a chain around his neck along with his dog tags was a scripture from the 6th chapter of Isaiah which read:
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!Lt. Lundell’s country called him and he answered. His first thoughts on the battlefield were no doubt for the safety of the men under his command. His last thoughts and prayers were no doubt for the family he was leaving behind.
His family, dear reader, is my concern today. Perhaps it’s because Lt. Lundell and I are about the same age and both of us have young children. Maybe its because I grew up with an Army officer for a father and part of me always wondered if he’d be called off to fight his country’s battles on a far away plain. Whatever the reason, reality will soon set in for Jeanine Lundell and her four small children.
Reality can be very harsh. The Army will do what it can to ease the burden faced by a family whose principle provider is now gone. Ditto for the Church and surrounding community. The resources of the aforementioned groups and individuals are finite and the collective American memory is exceptionally short. The needs which will be faced by the Lundell family will be anything but finite.
The Scott Lundell Memorial Fund has been established at the Mountain America Credit Union. For some unexplained reason, there is no way to make an online contribution to this account. You actually have to get your checkbook out (its that rectangular thing in the bottom of your bag) and send contributions in via snail mail. Yes, that means you have to find an envelope and stamp. Here’s the address information:
P.O. Box 9001
West Jordan, Utah 84084
Mark your check "Scott Lundell Memorial Fund."
Why should you care enough to cut a check? Here are a few reasons. In eight years, the oldest Lundell child will start college. Allowing for inflation and a 7% annual increase in average tuition and other fudge factors, a four year college education will cost approximately $71,000 in today’s dollars. Multiply that by a factor of four – I’m not sure of the exact ages of the children – and you start to see my point.
Traditionally, one of the things said to the widow (or designated family member) as the officer presents her with the flag which draped her husband’s coffin are the words “On behalf of a grateful nation…” Well, dear reader, now is the time for you to do just a little more than watch and read.
If this picture does not bring a lump to your throat and a tear to your eye, You. Are. Not. Human. No doubt you will be giving many gifts this holiday season. Maybe you’re well off, maybe you’re not. Maybe you have that account full of money you just don’t know what to do with. What ever your circumstance, remember that someplace in West Valley City there is a family without a father. The father heard his nation’s call and said Here am I, send me. He has now gone to the Mansions of the Lord. It is for us the living now to shoulder the responsibility he left behind.
Maybe you don’t have a checkbook. I know how that is. I hardly use mine anymore too. I’ll help you with that. Next week I will be in the Salt Lake City area. Click on this button
And I’ll drop that same amount (minus whatever Paypal takes out) at a Mountain America Credit Union branch office. I know it’s not much, but it is what I can do.
I would love to be able to someday knock on Jeanine Lundell’s door, hand her a check with a bunch of Zeros behind a rather large number and tell her she doesn’t have to worry about her kids going to college.
When God the Father asked the question emblazoned next to Lt. Lundell’s dog tags - Whom shall I send, there was no hesitation from Jesus when he answered Here am I, send me! When the question comes forth as to who will provide for the children of this fallen soldier, what will you answer?
Think about that.
Here endeth the lesson.