JOSHUA MCDANIELS - FALLEN HERO
 

We were to meet with the funeral home on Wednesday. Our casualty officer was to pick us up around 1:00 PM.
He arrived a little early and we were sitting on the couch and Brent had another attack. We called the ambulance
and this time we took him to the hospital. As he was laying there getting an AKG, I noticed the dog tags he was
wearing. It was what Josh had given him the Christmas before. It had the verse Joshua 1:9 on one side and a
prayer of salvation on the other. I remembered him receiving it, but at that time it didn't hit me..."Joshua" 1:9.

Everything checked out good with Brent. His heart was in excellent condition, the doctor said. He was experiencing
panic attacks. When we got home, I wanted to show my sister the dog tags, but Brent was talking to my brother-
in-law, and so I went to get my Bible. It is the Bible my parents got me for my 17th birthday. It is the King James
version so I really didn't read it much as it was hard for me to understand. I was trying to find the book of Joshua
and when I came to it the ribbon marker that had been there since the day I received the Bible on my 17th
birthday was on the page of Joshua 1:9. I almost fell to the floor. I said to my sister this must of been in Gods
plan all along.

We met with the funeral home the next day and made all the plans. We would be receiving Josh Saturday morning
and we would have a small family showing, then on Sunday, at the high school, would be Josh's celebration
of life.

After the meeting, I met my sister and we went to set up Josh's scholarship fund and have the programs made
for his service. We stopped and had la late lunch. As we were leaving to head home it started to storm. It was
raining really hard. About 20 minutes into the drive, the rain stopped, and I looked to the sky and there - right in
front of us - was a cloud in the form a "J" I yelled, "Look at that!" My sister said she had noticed it before I said
something and my daughter saw it.  After we all  acknowledged it, it blew away. Josh was once more letting us
know he was still with us.

Friday morning I was out watering the flowers in the backyard and a quick rain fell, not lasting more than 30
seconds, then the sun shone right on me.  I said, "Well good morning to you, too, Josh," with a big smile on my
face. I knew it was him  :)

Saturday - the day Josh was coming home. He arrived at the airport at 1:00 PM. We were in an enclosed hanger
with family, close friends, the Leathernecks, Patriot Guard, and the Marines. They proceeded with the
dignified transfer. There, I was able to go to my son for the first time. I broke down with my arms across his
casket. 

The procession was three miles long and it was so amazing to
see every overpass with flags hanging, and so many people
- some with fire trucks.  People going the other way were
stopping, getting out of their cars and saluting. I was so
extremely emotional.

As we got into the town of London, the two fire trucks had
a huge flag above the street. The streets, all the way to
the funeral home, was just packed with suppporters....
with signs, flags waving, all in the pouring rain. No words
can describe it.

 

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