01 April 2011

108 Hours

Matt Burden, Soldiers' Angels Board of Trustees member, is putting out the word for help in sending a Gold Star Father to see where his son spent his final hours:
Last Christmas, I received this email from a Gold Star Dad. He lost his son a few years ago in one of the war zones. He reached out to us for help getting to stand on the very ground where his son was killed in action. As a Dad, I can understand it. As a vet, I want to help this great American father find some peace - what little of it he will find, he deserves...
...I can not die in peace one day if I do not go. I will be 58 in January and... I think I can't wait any longer. But more importantly I have a gut feeling it is time.
The only gift in life I dream of for myself, strictly only for me, is to kneel and touch the ground where [he] died. To smell the air. To see what he saw his final days, final moments. I can see it at a distance of several hundred feet through out of date Google Earth Photos but that simply is not good enough for me. Even if it were to cost me my very life, I have to go there. I need your help to figure out how to make this happen. I would appreciate anything you could do to help me formulate an entry plan in country to make this happen.

My best to you in this Holiday Season as [we] celebrate Christmas, continuing to Remember [him] With Honor. Happy New Year. Thank you for your friendship, for saving my life by giving me an outlet to share my feelings and come to grips with my grief.
This mission will take a lot of financial and physical resources. You can email suggestions to blackfive - AT - Gmail - DOT - com. But be advised that we have worked this through the various government agencies at some very high levels. Soldiers' Angels has agreed to support this mission.
If you think you know who this Gold Star Father is, please do not speculate in the comments. Just as with our troops, there are very serious OPSEC considerations with this mission:
Due to security concerns, I cannot tell you who this is about. Many of you will guess. I've turned off the comments because I don't want any information out there (true or false) to compromise this mission. I cannot tell you when this will happen. We are planning on completing the mission in the late summer or early fall, but I am not going to pin down the dates, months or seasons.
Matt says they'll need $30,000 to make this mission happen. Donations can be made to Soldiers' Angels to support it. Matt's post has those details, and may have additional updates, so please read his entire post.