Tuesday, December 23, 2008

For the family of Spc. Tyler Cates and all the Gold Star loved ones, my condolences and prayers

MT. JULIET -- I was driving West on state Highway 70 today and crossed a bridge named in honor of Marine Spc. Tyler Cates, who gave his life in the Iraq War.

This time of year was Tyler's favorite. As a Marine based in Seattle, he would dress in the Marines' best and stand outside of the largest toy store at a mall and press the cause for Toys for Tots and the children he would ultimately never have.

After only a few days in Iraq, Cates was killed.

In her son's honor, Patricia Shaw has taken up the Toys for Tots cause. She is a fighter, and you have to be when you lose your son. My condolences at this time of year go out to her, her family and all the families who have lost their loved ones in Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on terror.

I know too many of these good people, such as Mike and Molly Morel of Martin, Tn, Pam Creager of Memphis, Eva Savage and Ginger Ford.

Your sacrifice allows us to celebrate Christmas. Your sacrifice has provided us the freedom to amass the wealth to buy all the things under the tree.

Thank you for your continuing sacrifice, particularly at this most difficult time of year. May God bless and keep you and reassure you of a most joyous reunion one day in heaven.

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