Friday, August 27, 2010

A Hero

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. -Joseph Campbell

Over the past week I have been trying to make sense of something that I am not sure I will fully understand myself.

For those who have not heard, my cousin, Sargent Steven DeLuzio, was killed in Afganistan last weekend. Since hearing of his death, I have tried to think of him, find photos, read posts and comments, remember every last memory that I could. Plus I want to shout at everyone I see. I want them to know about Steve, what kind of man he was, how much he loved his family and this country. I want everyone to know him and never forget that he gave his life for them.

I've been trying to balance all the pride I feel with all the sadness that I feel. It is tough! Plus then if it tough for me, how impossible it must feel for his Mom and Dad, Diane and Mark; his brother and sister-in-law, Scott and Vicki; and of course his fiance, Leeza. I have wished more than once this week that there was a way for me to lessen the pain they all must be feeling.

Many people don't understand the war, and I am not sure I really do either, but when I think about Steve and Scott, who was serving over there too, and any and all the men and women over there I think, all I really need to do is support them. This is what our country has decided to do, or forced to do...whichever way you choose to look at it, supporting the troops has to be what we can do as Americans.

Our Governor has requested that all flags fly at half staff until Steve's funeral, which is a wonderful thing. My brother-in-law said that he wants to personally thank the families that have lowered their flags and I feel that same way too. But on the other hand, there is a flag at the end of a street close by that has not been lowered, and I want to march myself up to their doors too and ask them to lower it.

Steve was an outgoing, always smiling man, who made anyone and everyone that he talked to feel comfortable around him. He would take the time to ask you about yourself. He would take the time to let the little kids know they were important too. I remember when Charlotte was just over a year old, and we went to Christmas Eve at his Aunt Joanne and Uncle Phil's house. Steve and Scott both were there themselves. Charlotte was a very shy little girl. They both waved at her during dinner, and then when there was less people around, and she was comfortable to walk around herself. They both sat on the floor and played with her or tried to get her to come and play with them. So cute!

Oh Steve! If there was something I could say to you now, it would be this. We are all so unbelievably proud of you. You gave your life, no only for something that you believed strongly in, but for all of us. Choosing to do this with your life is so amazing. I will miss the razzing you gave me about the Red Sox. Almost every time I posted a status on Facebook related to the Red Sox, you would comment. And even at home, Red Sox razzing became the norm. An avid Yankee fan, through and through.
Even in Afganistan, you were so upbeat about everything. I can remember a couple of posts about "Dear Rain, Enough is Enough..." or "Afgan Dancing 101" or "The best part about being up at four am...". You could make us smile even from half way around the world. You are a true American Hero Steve. You will forever be remembered for the ultimate sacrafice that you made for me, our family, this country, and the freedoms that we all take for granted on a daily basis. You will be missed, but never forgotten. I miss you Steve. I will never forget all you did for us. Rest now. Love you.

And I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me. -Lee Greenwood


Linda said...

I am so sad for you and your family. It is so heartbreaking.

Amy and Andrew said...

We are so sorry to hear this news. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the entire family. Much love and peace to all of you.

Dawn said...

Karen- I am so sorry you and your family have had to go through this...I had no idea that was your cousin. Our flags flew half-not because it was someone who we knew or b/c of Governor Rell, but because we believe in patriotism- as you described in your blog. My father is a veteran, my cousin is a veteran and Brian's cousin is still active duty. Your testimony to your cousin is beautiful and if I had anything to say about it- everyone would read it...Its great to be "back in touch" and I hope that your have found peace since August...God Bless you and your family.