Watching the news this morning about a local mid-Michigan soldier who lost his life to a roadside bomb in Iraq.
The Patriot Guard Riders are a group of bikers that help make sure fallen American servicemen and women are welcomed home properly, and with respect.
"I'm from the Vietnam era and our troops came home, they weren't treated with respect," said Bill Schwalm of Saginaw. "And among ourselves, we said that would never happen again."
When the plane carrying the body of Timothy David arrived in Freeland, Patriot Guard Riders -- most holding American flags -- watched silently as the casket was removed from the plane. They then rode in a procession from the airport to the funeral home with the family and friends.
"He's a brother," Schwalm said. "He's an American hero and he deserves this. We tell everybody if you can't ride with tears in yours eyes, don't come, because it is very emotional."
My hero is this young man and so many like him. And these veterans who pay homage despite their tears and heartbreak.
Maybe it's because I am mother-in-law to two young soldiers. Maybe it's because I'm aunt to another. But for these young people serving our country, I cry today. I cannot feel much for a pop music star who has passed and has a taken so much national attention in the media. They just don't compare in my mind. Today, I cry for the families mourning lost soldiers, and for my daughters who are missing and praying for their husbands to come back safe.