Why we do what we do

  • Published
  • By Faith Alyce Back-Wilder
  • WR-ALC/Engineering Logistics Technical Center
Many of us watched the dignified transfer Oct. 14 of 21-year-old Marine Cpl. Stephen "Coty" Sockalosky of Cordele, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan.

A 2007 graduate of Crisp County High School, Sockalosky was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

He was wounded by an improvised explosive device earlier in the month and later died at a U.S. military hospital in Germany.

As the procession turned onto Robins Parkway, and so many people were lined on both sides of the street to pay their respects either by standing either at attention or with their hands across their hearts, I lost count of the number of the Patriot Guard motorcyclists who passed by, as well as the number of sheriff and police escorts.

In the silence you could hear a pin drop ... until one SUV passed by, with its window rolled down. With tears streaming down her face, Sockalosky's mother recognized the support of Robins civilians and Airmen, saying "THANK YOU...GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU...THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU SO MUCH!"

It's hard to even try and imagine what his family is experiencing. It's equally hard to try and imagine what prompts young men and women like "Coty," who was the same age as my son and many of your children who are serving in the military, to willingly enlist and risk their lives for others, including all of us.

But the dignified transfer was a marked reminder of the sacrifices so many of them make. It was also a very sobering reminder of why those of us at Robins do what we do every day.

- Commentary by , WR-ALC/Engineering Logistics Technical Center