Lance Cpl. Phillip D. Vinnedge was killed last week in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was 19 years old. Phillip was in Boy Scout Troop 674 with my brothers, Paul and Charlie. They are attending his funeral today.
I never met Phillip, and I can’t image what it must be like for the hundreds of people he left behind. Despite my family’s history with both the Military and the Boy Scouts, I still can’t imagine the impact of such a tragic loss. And it’s that notion that really hit home.
Fifteen years ago I was 17, the same age my brother Paul is now. And like Paul, I took great pride in being a Boy Scout. Back then, it was unimaginable that a fellow scout could be killed fighting in a war. Today it is commonplace.
It’s all too easy to tune out the news of the two wars that the United States Military is fighting. It’s also easy to not think about the hundreds of brave young men and women that die every year in the service of their country. The sacrifices they’ve made are far greater than I will ever understand. So instead of trying, I will instead do my best to honor their memory.
Phillip Vinnedge was a good scout and a good soldier. He served the uniform bravely and for that he deserves to be honored. May he rest in peace.