There are people throughout our lifetime who leave lasting impressions. They put an indelible mark in our heart and mind, and though we were never asked, we become the living legacy to these people when they're gone. We become the historians and storytellers in an effort to keep them alive; to keep them relevant - even if it's for our own peace of mind.
This is Sgt. Michael Barkey's story.
spread the word for this #payitforward initiative
Sgt. Michael Barkey was only 22 years old. He was serving with the 1484th Transportation Company, Ohio National Guard deployed in Iraq when the towed vehicle he was in rolled over, throwing him against a concrete barrier. He died that day on July 7, 2004.On [October 11, 2004](http://www.iraqwarheroes.org/barkey.htm) his status was changed from Deceased to KIA (Killed in Action) after an investigation revealed the roll over was caused by hostile action. A sniper shot the tire causing the truck to roll over, resulting in Barkey's death. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
I never knew Sgt. Michael Barkey except through a passing news clip, but thanks to the wonderful conversations I've had with Frank, Michael is in my heart and mind.Purple Heart image source
What can I say about @lexikon082?
He has become my friend. Rarely do I find an immediate connection with people on such a deep level. We've talked about our inadequacies and imperfections, PTSD and coping with it, losing loved ones, finding friends who really get us, and rebuilding a life when we think we've hit rock bottom. We've talked of the dark place. We've talked about the light that is our kids. There is a stream of trust where we can speak our heart and mind without being judged.
It's amazing to know that I might be on the outside looking in, but there are a few people outside with me. These are the people of my tribe. Frank is in my tribe.
So, one evening he started talking about Michael. I could feel the smile as he spoke about him. I had to swallow back tears because I know this dichotomy of feeling: to laugh about a ridiculous memory and blink back tears because you miss someone so much!
"is now the patron saint of hamburgers or Cheetos."
How could I resist this?
With two of my boys in Marine Corps bootcamp I am a very proud mama that they have chosen this route. We come from military families. As a parent I pray that I never outlive my kids. Dark thoughts and worry about those unspeakable things stay tucked away in the very bottom of the well.
If I can perpetuate the memory of a young man gone way too soon, I will do my part because I am compelled by friendship and honor. Maybe the patron saint of hamburgers will help guard against harm our young men and women who serve their country because duty called.
Frank started the Hamburger Saint Project to honor his friend, Sgt. Michael Barkey, a young man gone too soon but who has left a deep impression on those who knew and loved him. The idea is to gift two Steemians with a gift. It does not have to be new or expensive, but as a project of love, it should be something with meaning.
You must opt in to be a gift recipient because if you are chosen you are committing to finding two other Steemians to gift them.
Hamburger Saint Project
My boys' battalion colors and platoon number
Easy (or Evil) Echo
or visit my website to connectAll images are mine except the green guy which is from Pixabay under CC0 public domain. All other images have been cited.