About six or seven years ago, our company hired a high-schooler named Jenna to do some office-services related stuff in our office. Her dad works here as a design engineer and is a really nice guy.
Jenna's family could be described as fundamentalist christian. While not proselytizers, they make it clear which side of the fence they stand on. Be that as it may, Jenna was a fairly typical 17 year old girl: nice but snotty, hipper than the rest of us. In addition to delivering mail and answering the phone, she also helped Laura in our office with the permit drawings for kitchen fire systems, and that is how I came to know her.
After 9/11, she made it clear that she would forego college and join the Army. And she did. Her parents were interviewed in a local newspaper about her choice to join the service, and while they expressed the usual parental fears, they also stated that as christians, they believed that the Lord ultimately chooses the time of everyone's passing, and if their daughter was killed in action, it was the Lord's will, and they would be content with His will.
Now, you might think I chuckle at that sentiment, but after a lot of reflection, that may be the best way to cope with the fear of losing one's child. There is only so much we can control. Whether it be on a college campus in rural Virginia, or the streets of Baghdad, you just never know when it's going to be your turn.
Jenna is stationed out of Ft Drum, 2nd Combat Team, 10th Mountain. She also jumps out of planes. She has a good chance of earning her Sergeant's strips this summer. She's also returning for her third tour in Iraq.
Jenna is home on leave, and she stopped by to visit us on her way to an elementary school, where she was going to speak at a school assembly. There is no doubt that she's a lean, mean, killing machine; but as she was leaving today, she said that she was looking forward to playing with the kids before she spoke today.
I took a picture of her with Laura. I told her to keep her head down and to take care of herself. Afterall, you never know when the Lord calls your number.