Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thankful For A Brother While Remembering A Band Of Brothers

Twenty-four years ago this morning I was having breakfast in the Legislative Plaza in Nashville when word came that a C-130 crashed over the Atlantic with a load of soldiers aboard.

My brother, Tim, was due back from a deployment in Germany that week and the fear was obvious to my breakfast mates - including my boss, Tennessee Secretary of State Gentry Crowell.

In a fog, I went back to my office and wondered whether I should call my folks and nail down when Tim was due back or just wait for more details. The odds of my brother being a part of this news was slim but you never know.

Just as I decided to call my parents to ask about Tim's status I was told Mr. Crowell was calling me. The second I said, "Yes, sir," Gentry told me my brother was okay. He had gone back to his office and called U.S. Senator Jim Sasser for any news. Sasser already had the news before it had been released to the press and he passed on to Mr. Crowell.

The plane was carrying 248 troops from Ft. Campbell and all were presumed dead.

My personal relief was instantly replaced with the horror of losing so many men who were from my hometown of Clarksville.

My prayer today is one of thanks - again - for sparing my brother's life.

For the 248 souls who died in that flight from Gander, Newfoundland I also give thanks for their sacrifice.

The horror of that morning lives on for the families of the men who died that morning and I pray that they may find peace.