Wednesday evening - I had just popped dinner in the oven and sat down at the computer to check my email. Up pops a message from David Jeffers, Eddie's father. It was titled Hope Rides Eternal. I expected a new essay from Eddie - a follow up to Hope Rides Alone. Sadly, that was not to be. I was not prepared for the sad news. This is what my email read:
It is with great personal sadness but joy in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that I announce the death of my son Eddie Jeffers. Eddie was killed around 7 am Iraqi time from an accidental vehicle roll-over. Although our personal loss is traumatic, we know he is in a better place. All of you have been so wonderful to my son and my family and he was so blessed and humbled by your love for him. He told me this past summer after the wonderful gift you gave his wife and him that he didn't understand why people were so generous and kind to him. You see to Eddie, he was just doing his job and what he believed was his life mission from God.
I've said this often; Eddie was my hero. My dear brother in Christ Rod Martin told me that Eddie died a hero for not just the soldier he was but the person. Eddie, through his writing, touched so many people's lives, yours and you so lovingly touched ours back.
We thank you in advance for your condolences and prayers. Please pray especially for Eddie's wife Stephanie; as you can imagine she is devastated. Our prayer is that Eddie's death will exalt Christ as did his life.
In lieu of any flowers we are asking all donations be given to the Fisher House in memory of Eddie; he loved that charity.
Love in Christ Jesus
The Jeffers Family
"Blessed be the Lord my Strength, who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to fight." -Psalm 144:1 (Eddie's favorite Bible verse)
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
I write this tonight with a heavy heart and great sadness for the loss to the spirit of our country. Eddie was so special to so many of us who never had the honor of knowing him, but whose hearts he touched with goodness and honor. He was a hero to so many of us. We felt fortunate to be able to show our appreciation for what he gave to so many of us... honesty, faith, hope and the American spirit.
I was fortunate to correspond with Eddie's father this year. We were part - a teeny, tiny part - of a surprise for Eddie and Stephanie on his leave. Eddie Jeffers was more than a name on a page to me. He was a part of the spirit of America that has soared for over 200 years - a young man who loves his country enough to fight for her and to speak out for her, a young man of profound faith in God and in America, a soldier who believed in his mission and was willing to tell us all how much.
Tonight, I grieve for the loss of a friend, the loss of a soldier, the loss of a fine American, and for his wife and family. Our prayers are with them all.
We are all much richer as a nation because Sergeant Eddie Jeffers walked among us.
To read Eddie's essays, click on the titles:
All of these essays were originally printed in http://www.newmediajournal.us/
Messages for the Jeffers family may be left in the comments section and will be forwarded to them.