american flag at half mastSo often we hear about surprise military homecomings that were pulled off without a hitch. But one that was planned and never came to fruition is just as deserving of our attention. Thirty-year-old Army Sgt. William R. Moody from Burleson, Texas, was planning to surprise his family when he returned in September from Afghanistan where he was part of Operation Enduring Freedom. He and the Burleson Fire Department had been in communication since early June, making plans for Sgt. Moody to ride a fire truck and have two police cars escort the truck to his kids' elementary school ...

But tragically, that day will never come. The husband and father of three was killed on June 18 alongside three of his fellow soldiers when Taliban forces fired two rockets in the Bagram Air Force Base where they were stationed. Devastating doesn't even begin to describe it.

Fire Chief Gary Wisdom told the local press of his reaction to the heart-wrenching news:

[Sgt. Moody] struck me as a man who was very devoted to his family as well as this country. ... I have been in the fire service for more than 32 years and not a whole lot stops me in my tracks. This did. We as firefighters have a very honorable profession, but it does not compare to the service and sacrifice of soldiers such as Sgt. Moody. Our hearts go out to his family. They are in the thoughts and prayers of everyone here at the Burleson Fire Department.

Wisdom hit the nail on the head. This terrible turn of events is a reminder that as many as we see and as much as we hope they're in the cards, a surprise, happy homecoming with loved ones is no guarantee for our servicemen and women. Even when they're on the brink of coming home to reunite with loved ones, their lives are at risk. And that only reinforces just how tremendous their sacrifices and service truly are.

With hope, Sgt. Moody's loved ones and the families of the other fallen soldiers will get the support they need during this incredibly difficult and sad time.

 

Image via sflovestory/Flickr