a tragedy and a request

2 U.S. Marines Reported Killed in Iraq

Two U.S. Marines assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 were killed Sunday in Anbar province as a result of enemy action, coalition forces said in a statement Monday.

The names of the dead were being withheld until military officials could contact their families.

More than 2,600 American troops have died in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, according to a tally by The Associated Press. At least 2,100 of that number were killed by hostile action.

Normally this is a story i would just glance at and not give a second thought to. Shame on me.

One of the victims was 21 years old, the youngest of 9 children. He had been in Iraq for 6 months. His name was Eric.

Though i had never met him, we were connected. He was the little brother of Teresa, my brother Josh’s girlfriend.

I love Josh, and i love Teresa too. I’ve known her for a few years now and even though I’ve only spent time with her on a dozen occasions or so, it only took the first time to know that she was out of Josh’s league. And that’s saying alot considering how highly i think of Josh. She’s a warm and caring person, intelligent, pretty, all of that. To think of how her heart must be hurting right now…i can’t comprehend it.

Like i said, i never met Eric, so I won’t pretend to be in a world of pain right now like the myriad of people who were fortunate enough to have had him in their lives. The pit in my stomach right now as i contemplate all of this is a pebble compared to the mountain of grief that those who loved him are processing.

But it hits close to home when people that you love and care about are hurting, and that is where i find myself right now. I’m going to do the only things i can do. i can offer my condolences, i can pray, and i can ask you to pray too.

If you have a spare 20 seconds, maybe you can lift up Teresa’s family in prayer. Pray for them, that this tragedy will bring them closer together, that somehow they can find peace and comfort in the middle of such devastating circumstances. Pray for the healing process, that somehow God’s mercy and grace will help heal the wounds and preserve the fond memories.

I’m at a loss for words and don’t really know what else to say.