Michael sat on his cot in the tent that he shared with the rest of his fellow soldiers. He was reading the book that meant so much to him. It was the Book of Mormon. His daughter gave it to him before he was deployed. She had told him,
“Never lose faith. We love you and know that Heavenly Father will watch over you.”
He had been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for his entire life. This book helped him keep faith in these hard conditions. He had always felt the need to serve his country. To help protect the freedom that he wanted his wife and daughter to have. He felt that this is what he was meant to do. He closed his book and pulled out the picture of his wife Elizabeth and his 8-year-old daughter Peyton. They had taken the picture on the camping trip that they had taken right before he was deployed. This was his third deployment, and each time it got harder and harder to leave the family that he loved so dearly.
“Danes lets go.” Ordered one of his fellow soldiers,
As he grabbed his gear and began to run out of the tent, he had a feeling to grab his book. He quickly grabbed it then ran out to the rest of his group. They had been assigned to survey an area to make sure that it was safe to transport one of their wounded soldiers through.
They quickly came upon a deserted group of run-down houses. They speedily got into formation outside of their humvee. From there they cautiously moved toward the abandoned area. Michael kept his eyes moving as he searched for threats. He suddenly had a very distinct feeling to scan the rooftops.
“Sniper on the roof!” He yelled in warning,
Gunfire erupted as he dove behind a rock for safety. His watched his comrades do the same. They each took every opportunity to return fire to the Taliban that was threatening each of their lives. He noticed that his dear friend had a gun pointed right at him. Instinct kicked in as Michael ran and pushed him out of the way, as he took the bullet that saved his friend's life. The impact caused him to tumble to the ground in pain.
The bullet had hit him right above his vest. As the other soldiers covered them Steven began to drag Michael to cover behind their Humvee. They quickly ripped his vest off as they tried to do everything they could to save his life. Michael struggled to breathe as he pulled the book that he had grabbed on an impulse out of his belt. He handed it to Steven and repeated the words that his daughter said to him when she had given it just months before.
Memories of his family rushed through his mind as his breathes began to shorten. At that moment his eyes filled with tears as he realized that he was never going to see his beautiful wife again. She was his best friend and he was about to lose her. He thought of his daughter and knew that he was never going to be able to be there for her. She was going to grow up without a father. He spoke their names as he took his last breath.