Honoring the Fallen – Memorial Day Edition

Jin Kong, Board Chair of the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce, is working with our council as a fellow through Mission Continues. 

The Mission Continues is a national nonprofit organization that empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. Their operations in cities across the country deploy veteran volunteers alongside non-profit partners and community leaders to solve some of the most challenging issues facing our communities: improving community education resources, eliminating food deserts, mentoring at-risk youth and more. Through this unique model, veterans build new skills and networks that help them successfully reintegrate to life after the military while making long-term, sustainable transformations in communities and inspiring future generations to serve. CLICK HERE for more information.

As part of the Mission Continues fellowship program, we invite fellows to dedicate their six months of service to a fallen hero. In honor of Memorial Day, some fellows were willing to share what they wrote — who they are honoring and why. The following is a excerpts from GCWAC’s current fellow. 

Jin Kong, Bravo 2017 Fellow

Captain Jacobsen was the first patient I lost to Mosul. He was a kind man. He took care of his soldiers.He died a needless death, and it wasn’t on the battlefield. He was eating his lunch and someone decided a chow hall was a good place to bomb. We lost many people that day, but Captain Jacobsen came to my trauma bed. He had no exterior wounds. He was unconscious and barely breathing. I put an airway tube down his throat and mechanically ventilated his breathing. I put an IV in him to help stabilize him. He was taken to the air-lift. Just before we packaged him, I checked his eyes again to see if he can be woken up. When I put the light to his pupils, they rolled back into his head. I knew this was not a good sign.

Later I heard he did not make it. I still don’t know if there is anything I could have done to change the outcome, but guilt stays with me day-to-day.

Over the course of my year in Mosul, we lost another 15 brothers. When we came home, we lost another to cancer and two more to suicide. Most of them I did not know well, but enough to know they were good people–good infantry soldiers and citizens.

They have made the sacrifice and I am here alive, trying to figure out what it is that I am supposed to do in their honor. I don’t pretend that I do this for them. Far from the truth. I do this for myself, because they made me who I am today. My motivation to leave this place better than I found it, my whole worth and opportunity to make a difference, all came from these brave men and other men and women who gave their lives. For what reason? But to allow me the chance to ask that eternal question.

I wish you a good Memorial Day Weekend and that you make the day worth its weight. Many have given their lives: friends, family, and strangers, all for some remote hope that human beings are capable of better things than war.

As I was writing this, on May 25, 2017, the Deuce Four family lost another brother-in-arms, Matthew Gregg. He was a medic and will be missed dearly. May you rest in peace, friend.

Originally found here through the Mission Continues Blog. GCWAC did not write this blog nor does the council own any of the words. 

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