Children collecting brass along a busy road in Laghman Province Afghanistan. A very dangerous thing to do and a scene that is common in every war.
A child collecting close to a heavy moving vehicle and in danger of being run over. A soldier rushes out in front of the heavy vehicle and saves the child from being hit but in doing so he is struck by the vehicle and later dies of his injuries.
That soldier was Spec. Dennis Weichel of Rhode Island.
"Specialist Dennis Weichel's life was marked by bravery, selflessness, and commitment to others -- and unfortunately it was in demonstrating these remarkable characteristics that it was lost," Governor Lincoln Chafee said. “And he will be remembered, and mourned, by people across our state as a great Rhode Islander.”
Spec. Weichel was not regular army. He served as part of the Rhode Island National Guard. There was one thing that was, I am sure, more important to him than anything else. He was a family man with three children of his own.
He sacrificed his life to save a child. Not one of his own but a stranger. A child in need and few American soldiers would stand around and not react. It is who we are no matter what others think of us. We see this occur time and time again.
Somehow the humanity of man finds its way to the surface even in the worse of situations. Spec. Dennis Weichel proved that once again.
Keep him and his family in your prayers today. Keep that little Afghan boy in mind also. Pray that he has the opportunity to grow up and make something of himself. It would help validate this sacrifice.