Monday, October 15, 2007
To Honor and Serve
On October 4, 2007 Vincent George Kamka, age 23 and of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was killed in the line of duty in Bayji, Iraq. He was returned to his parents, Chuck & Brenda Kamka, on the next Wednesday and this last Saturday he was buried in the Annis Little Butte cemetery, which sits on the other side of the butte from where I live. Even though I personally did not know the Kamkas, I was drawn to the Menan Lorenzo Highway, which is the main route from Idaho Falls to the Annis Little Butte cemetery. We went down to the corner at about 1:00 to wait for them to arrive. We noticed that up and down the road were flags posted about every 500 feet. We drove down to Menan and Lewisville and saw that each community had done the same thing. And at the church in Menan, the scouts had gathered to get their chance to honor Vince.
At about 1:30 we saw the flash of the sheriff's lights and here they came. At the front of the procession was the POW/MIA bike club, posing as the honor guard for this solemn procession. Following the hearse was at least 100 cars, carrying friends and family of this humble soldier. I was struck with how quiet it was as each car drove past us. A few waved, as if to acknowledge that we were here to share their grief.
We went on up to the top of the butte, to look down on the cemetery, with it's flag lined fence and roads. We quietly watched as the pall bearers bore him to his final resting place and caught wisps of the dedicatory prayer. We listened as someone sang and then as they did the 21 gun salute.
After having seen all these flags as a sign of pride, a sign of support, I don't know if I will ever look at the flag the same again. We have flown our flag in our yard at half staff, in respect for the Kamkas since the funeral. I hope his mom knows that here in Annis, all of us moms have shed a tear for her and that we know that a truly great soldier lies here among us. We will watch over him for you.
Heavenly Father, bless the soldiers in harms way, keep them safe!