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January 13, 2006
Letter to the President from a Gold Star Dad
Here's a letter to President Bush sent by Bud Clay who was notified in early December that his son, SSGT Daniel Clay was killed while serving with 2/7 Marines in Fallujah. Although he did not make it home to his loving family as they had hoped, he went all the way home and is now deployed in Heaven, guarding the streets for eternity. And someday, he'll be reunited with them - I can't imagine what a party that will be.
And, his father, Bud Clay understands the meaning of honor, reaching out of his grief to send this message to his son's Commander in Chief.
December 7, 2005
President George Bush,
The White House,
DEAR PRESIDENT BUSH:
My name is Bud Clay. My son, SSgt Daniel Clay--USMC was killed last week, 12/01/05, in Iraq. He was one of the ten Marines killed by the IED in Fallujah.
Dan was a Christian--he knew Jesus as Lord and Savior--so we know where he is. In his final letter (one left with me for the family--to be read in case of his death) he says "if you are reading this, it means my race is over." He's home now--his and our real home.
I am writing to you--to tell you how proud and thankful we (his parents and family) are of you and what you are trying to do to protect us all. This was Dan's second tour in Iraq--he knew and said that his being there was to protect us.
I want to encourage you. I hear in your speeches about "staying the course". I also know that many are against you in this "war on Terror" and that you must get weary in the fight to do what is right. We and many others are praying for you to see this through--as Lincoln said, "that these might not have died in vain".
You have a heavy load--we are praying for you.
God bless you,
Marines are instructed to write a letter to their familes in case of their death while deployed. Mr. Clay included his son's last letter home with his message to President Bush.
MOM, DAD, KRISTIE, JODIE, KIMBERLY, ROBERT, KATY, RICHARD, AND MY LISA:
Boy do I love each and every one of you. This letter being read means that I have been deemed worthy of being with Christ. With MaMa Jo, MaMa Clay, Jennifer .... all those we have been without for our time during the race. This is not a bad thing. It is what we hope for. The secret it out. He lives and His promises are real! It is not faith that supports this .... but fact and I now am a part of the promise. Here is notice! Wake up! All that we hope for is Real. Not a hope. But Real.
But here is something tangible. What we have done in Iraq is worth any sacrifice. Why? Because it was our duty. That sounds simple. But all of us have a duty. Duty is defined as a God given task. Without duty life is worthless. It holds no type of fulfillment. The simple fact that our bodies are built for work has to lead us to the conclusion that God (who made us) put us together to do His work. His work is different for each of us.
Mom, yours was to be the glue of our family, to be a pillar for those women (all women around you), Dad, yours was to train and build us (like a Platoon Sgt) to better serve Him. Kristie, Kim, Katy you are the five team leaders who support your Squad ldrs, Jodie, Robert and Richard. Lisa you too. You are my XO and you did a hell of a job. You all have your duties. Be thankful that God in His wisdom gives us work. Mine was to ensure that you did not have to experience what it takes to protect what we have as a family. This I am so thankful for. I know what honor is. It is not a word to be thrown around. It has been an Honor to protect and serve all of you. I faced death with the secure knowledge that you would not have to. This is as close to Christ-like I can be. That emulation is where all honor lies. I thank you for making it worthwhile.
As a Marine this is not the last Chapter. I have the privilege of being one who has finished the race. I have been in the company of heroes. I now am counted among them. Never falter! Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting.
Now here are my final wishes. Do not cry! To do so is to not realize what we have placed all our hope and faith in. We should not fear. We should not be sad. Be thankful. Be so thankful. All we hoped for is true. Celebrate! My race is over, my time in war zone is over. My trials are done. A short time separates all of us from His reality. So laugh. Enjoy the moments and your duty. God is wonderful.
I love each and every one of you.
Spread the word .... Christ lives and He is Real.
Ssgt Clay's final wish: Don't hesitate to honor and support those of us who have the honor of protecting that which is worth protecting.
I would love to see this father, who understands the true meaning of honor and who continues to support his son, given the same media attention given to Cindy Sheehan.
Thanks to Mary Helen who sent this along.
Posted by Deb at January 13, 2006 01:06 AM
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These letters, from the father and from his son, are awesome to read. I am the mother of a Marine just completing his deployment in Afghanistan and I have been painfully aware of the risk my son has been under. Yet, I know he is proud also to be doing his God-given job, and I also know that life's risks are not only with those in military deployment. My son had to say good-bye to his sister with the thought that he most likely would not see her again this side of Heaven as she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. However, God has a plan and purpose for everyone, and neither of my children has yet been called Home. We are anticipating a joyful earthly reunion in just a few weeks, just a glimmer of the picture that the heavenly reunion someday will be! Thank you to Gold Star Dad and his Gold Star Son for their willingness and ability to accept the burden of what needed to be. And thank you also to God and our Savior Jesus, the leader and example of all those who are Semper Fidelis!
Posted by: Janice Bernier at January 13, 2006 06:11 PM
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