Saturday May 30th Pv2 Andrew Shields, a friend and brother whom I attended AIT with, died in theatre. 19 years young and barely beginning his life yet already a hero to millions. He was barely engaged to a fellow soldier, sister and friend to me. He leaves behind friends and family that cherished every moment they spent with him. He was full of life and laughter and was the epitomy of an amazing soldier, friend, son, brother and human being. I find it a moment in my life that I knew as a soldier would be difficult but the effect it is having on my mind and heart is gut wrenching. I cry a bit then stop and cry some more. He was too young. Had too much to offer. I feel like its my duty to stay in and be the best soldier I can be to honor his sacrifice. To save another soldier, another Shields so that he or she may come home to their loved ones. Death is something we face everyday and we brush it off when we see it in the media but when it hits you in the face like a brick with a loss of a dear friend it consumes your mind and clouds your thoughts. Herbert Hoover once said 'Older men declare war, but its the youth that must fight and die.' So honor them. Pray for them and their families. And thank them every night when you lay your head down and sleep sound in your beds. For there are hundreds tonight sleeping on the ground, in a foxhole and some who dont sleep at all, all in fear of what ied or insurgeon may be around the next corner. I pray for you and your family Shields. I pray for all of my brothers and sisters around the world. Stay safe. Stay alert. Stay alive. And when death comes to your door step for its calling, I will be there gauze, tourniquet and morphine in hand. And we will get those sons of bitches. I promise you. Hooah!
Mother, sister, daughter and pissed off soldier