An ordinary man lost his life in Iraq this past Saturday. Staff Sgt. Justin Bauer, 24, of Berthoud, Colorado, was killed by an explosion near his patrol. He was a husband, a son, and a brother. He was a standout lineman and wrestler for Berthoud High School only a few years ago. I’m a Jr. High and High School football referee, and I see ordinary kids like Staff Sgt. Bauer every week on the field.
He’s the kid down the street that sometimes drives his car past your house a little too fast, with the radio playing a little to loudly. He’s one of the kids that you see every day hanging out with his friends at the mall or on the ski slopes. He’s the freckle-faced kid of your friends that is somewhat shy, but respectful around you. He’s the kid that finally grew up and went off to college, or off to serve his nation in our Armed Forces.
I didn’t know Staff Sgt. Justin Bauer personally. But I know one thing about him for certain. He was no ordinary man. He was extraordinary. Bauer put his own life on hold. He was a loving husband, and planned to go back to the local Fire Department and raise a family after he served our country.
Staff Sgt. Bauer decided that he was going to personally ensure his family’s and our nation’s safety. Not willing to leave it to others, he gave everything to prevent our enemies from taking away our freedom, and the freedom of the Iraqi people. He put himself in harm’s way, so that his wife and family wouldn’t have to be there.
There are some in our country that degrade and demean the service men such as Bauer provide for our country. He was even willing to die to protect their right to hate him and so many others. Men like Staff Sgt. Bauer are anything but ordinary.
The city of Berthough, the state of Colorado, and our Nation lost one of its finest on Saturday. He certainly isn’t the first one to be lost, nor will he be the last. As long as men like Staff Sgt. Bauer exist, we will continue to be a nation of free men. We owe everything we have to them.
My most heartfelt admiration and thanks go out to Staff Sgt. Justin Bauer. My prayers and deepest sympathy go out to his wife, parents, and brothers. May God give you peace and comfort during your time and grief. And may you always know that your nation is forever grateful for the sacrifice that he, and you made for all of us.
Staff Sgt. Justin Bauer was anything but an ordinary man. He was as extraordinary, as are all those that put themselves in harm’s way to protect our freedom. We salute you, SSG Bauer. We will never forget the sacrifice that you made for us.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13