Feb 28 2012

Corpsman Kyler Estrada

Published by at 6:03 pm under Medley of Thoughts

Yesterday morning I set out to talk to a couple of people about my book Learning a New Language, Speech About Women and God. Little did I know that I would spend part of that time crying in a cemetery.  My first effort was a call to a hosptial chaplain who I am hoping will help me bring together a group of women to discuss the theology and biblical reality of calling God Mother. She wasn’t on duty so I left a message. Then I went to a Barnes and Noble store to ask about them holding a book signing for me. The community relations man was very kind and attentive and said since my book is published on demand he wasn’t sure they could do it–they might be left  with unreturnable books. He is considering six other authors and will get back to me.

I went to the funeral home/cemetery because I had met a woman funeral director there some time ago when I went to get information about the labyrinth they have on the cemetery grounds. She was interested in feminist theology and expressed interest in my book. As I was parking the car, six Marines in full dress uniform got out of a SUV. Five of them carried   guns and the sixth carried a bugle. They marched in step to the grave site.  It was quite a distance  from where I was so I walked over to get a  closer look. I stayed far enough away that no one would see me.   I just stood there by a tall marker and prayed for the family of whoever it was who was being buried.  My praying soon led to tears.

A car pulled up, parked in the roadway near me  and an older man got out.  I don’t know why he came over to me—just to ask  if I needed help, I guess. By then I was crying with my praying.  He told me that the 21-year-old they were burying was Kyler Estrada. He went on to tell me that Kyler  was a Navy corpsman on training duty with the Marines in Djibouti. He was  killed during the  training exercises.  I googled Kyler  when I got home.  He was born in Maricopa, Arizona. He was married but had no children. It sounds like there will be an investigation–probably standard procedure in such cases.

In spite of all the talk about glory and honor and loyalty to country, war is a horrible, horrible thing. God will comfort and console Corpsman Estrada’s family, but he will always be missed, even by those of us who didn’t know him.



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