I just received one of those e-mails you hate to get. Brandon Forrest Eggleston, the only son of Alisa Moody—who used to be one of my graphic designers at the NRA and now manages my website—was killed last night in Afghanistan by an IED. In addition to his mother, Brandon leaves behind a wife and two daughters. Brandon was on his third deployment and was a member of a Special Forces Ranger team. He was slated for helicopter pilot training next week and had bought a jump pass for his mother for a tandem jump over Mother’s Day weekend. Instead, she must fly to Dover, Del. and make arrangements to receive his remains.
News like this stuns, as if hit in the face by a fastball. We see reports of servicemen and women killed like this regularly, and, unfortunately, we often just shake our heads and move on with our day. Unfortunately it seems we need to take a hit close to home to acknowledge the importance of each and every one of these reports. Every one of these valiant servicemen and women have mothers, fathers, spouses, children, siblings and friends, and each of them grieves deeply for that loved one.
There are a lot of thoughts that go through my mind now; most of which aren’t appropriate to be voiced at this time. But those of us who are gunners and hunters know we have an innate and profound responsibility that goes above and beyond the non-shooting public. One of those responsibilities is to support every citizen that shuns their civvies and takes an oath to protect and serve his fellow citizens by wearing the uniform of the U.S. military.
Yes, I realize that this installment has nothing to do with guns or hunting. However, we NRA folk—members, staff and supporters—are tied closely to the United States military, and Brandon was one of us. I ask you to pray for Brandon Forrest Eggleston; his mother Alisa; his wife Karen; his daughters Molly and Avery and the rest of his family and friends. And the next time you hear of a serviceman or woman killed in some far-off place, remember that it isn’t just another name to blow off after a few seconds. That individual was a living, breathing person of honor, fighting for your freedom and safety. And each of them leaves behind many who are intensely grieving.