Steven P. Daugherty, KIA 6 July 2007

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Funny how a simple act of running can be so emotional. I only met Steven briefly a couple of times but he was a good friend to R and everyone around him. He has a son M’s age; they became instant friends when R and M traveled back to Virginia a couple of years ago for the homecoming of the friends he left in Iraq. I thought of the son he left behind, all of the years he has missed, and all of the years to come. R and his friends vowed to make sure his son always remembers him.

Even though my legs wanted me to stop a couple miles into my run, how could I? When only two years R couldn’t? When even now his foot still gives him trouble everyday yet he still is determined to run like he used to? When I have the freedom to leave my house at any time of the day and still know that I am safe in my own country with no worry of car bombs, civil war, genocide, or any other acts of violence that happen daily in other countries? How could I stop now?

For the past six years, my husband’s command remembers his friend Steven with a 10 mile run and a barbecue and though I am not there (nor can I run 10 miles yet) I still think of what Steven’s family must have gone through and what they go through every day, especially July 6 every year.

L’s birth two days later was a small distraction to the tragedy that had just occurred and I wonder what goes through the minds of R and his coworkers when they see her. I can only hope they see what I see. She is a bright-eyed beautiful girl who loves her father fiercely, who at the tender age of five has come to grips with her father’s job, and is a symbol of love, friendship, and how precious and fragile life really is.

This morning L changed out of her pajamas and decided to put on her Navy shirt. It made me smile and wonder what forces are at work in this vast and mysterious universe.

Navy Captain– The Real Navy

Our Fallen Soldier

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“PO1 STEVEN P. DAUGHERTY US NAVY KIA 6 JULY 2007 BAGHDAD, IRAQ”

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