Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'll fly away

I went to Master Sgt. Davy Nathaniel Weaver's funeral today. He was 39 and had three children. He'd served 21 years in the Army, and he volunteered to do an extra three months this year in Afghanistan.

Turned out, that's what killed him. An IED exploded near his vehicle May 18, killing him and an interpreter, whose name I'm sorry to say I did not ask. They buried Sgt. Weaver today outside Lilla Memorial Baptist Church, which is just north of Barnesville.

I don't know how many funerals I've been to now for soldiers, the ones I never met and the one who was my friend. Enough to know I don't want to go to any more.

But you meet some amazing people at these funerals. Jan Johnson lost her son, Joshua, in 2004. Now she's one of those Patriot Guard Riders. I think she hugged every National Guardsman she saw today.

And the Weaver family - after the funeral was over they waited for his body to be lowered into the grave. Then they grabbed shovels and started filling in the dirt. One of his cousins told me that's a family tradition. I think it's a good one.

I don't know what else to say. Some members of Sgt. Weaver's family sang a song called "I'll Fly Away" during the service. They said he's in Heaven now, and they'll see him soon.

I hope that's true.


Dan said...

What a great song. Willie does it sometimes.

Anonymous said...

During the Viet Nam war I was assigned to two days of funeral detail in Arkansas and Oklahoma. We did five funerals in two days and it has stayed with me for 32 years. I have never been back to another military funeral.

Anonymous said...

The version of I'll Fly Away that you posted is by Allison Krauss and Gillian Welch. (It was on the soundtrack for O Brother, Where Art Thou?)