Hamburger Saint Project - a tribute to a fallen soldier

5 months ago

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 one story - but it is not mine.

This is Sgt. Michael Barkey's story.

And I am helping Frank, known as @lexikon082
spread the word for this #payitforward initiative

barkey.jpg

image from legacy.com


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!

Apparently Sgt. Barkey loved hamburgers and Cheetos so much that it became sort of a "thing." Even in the Senate's Congressional Record, they stated that he

"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.


#payitforward

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.

Read Frank's post about it for all the details

Consider being a participant in this project of love and remembrance.


This is a 50/50 post and all liquid STEEM and/or SBD will be donated to the

Hamburger Saint Project

to help offset shipping costs for anyone who wishes to participate.

My boys' battalion colors and platoon number

3050-LEO-3-M-_icon.png
Mighty Mikes
2061-LEO-2-E-_icon.png
Easy (or Evil) Echo

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All images are mine except the green guy which is from Pixabay under CC0 public domain. All other images have been cited.
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Sort Order:  trending

Hi Meredeth,
I need to get on that Viva basecamp. Thank you.

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You're all set, love. Check your email for the invitation.

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Gone but never forgotten. One brother lost is one too many. It is a shame.

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I agree 100% with this.

The warmth in my heart and the gulp in my throat says so much more, but I don't know what else to say for posting this except "Thank You".

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It is my honor and privilege XOXOX

It's nice to learn about some of the brave men who sacrifice so much to keep our country safe.

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Thank you so much for stopping by to leave a comment @team101 - He was so young! I can't help but think about my boys, hoping and praying they will be all right.

You are such a cool person. This is a great, moving post dedicated to someone taken to soon. Ps, I like your boys platoon colours! Evil Echo wins it for me though ;o)

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I like Evil Echo too. We are wicked, aren't we? lol

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It's the best way!!!!

I am up voting the Hamburger Saint Project posts when I see them; a worthy cause!

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Thank you @kenny-crane I really think it's a worthy cause and I'm going to help Frank where I can with it. :)

I fully support and respect the solders who gave their service to the country! Many people don't know how many hardships they have gone to protect the country!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and comment @dailylight

Just found you, Excellent post ! Hope all is going well with your family ! It is really great to have met such a wonderful person. Thank you for being there for me when I really needed an ear. I am so glad to have a new 'Real' friend.

Read More, Reason More ... JTS

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Hi @jtstreetman - I have been waiting to see you make a re-emergence! Glad to see you here. Now get posting so I can write about'cha ;) Let's build that following up!

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I sent you email, also a mssg on viva chat

The sacrifice these men have made is almost beyond comprehension. I am filled with gratitude and awe for what they have given for all of us.

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Between my husband's and my family tree, we have had men serve our country since the Revolutionary War. For some young men & women it's their way out of town; for others, it's a calling. Oorah!

Respect and love to

Sgt. Michael Barkey

All gave some, some gave all!

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Thank you for this!

The beautiful mama of Pay It Forward is back :) Hugs to you during every tearful moment my friend. xo

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Thank you @dreemit
Sometimes those tears are the best cleanse a person can have and then we move forward.

I always give respect to people who have dedicated their life to their country. Sorry, I am in hurry so, I can not leave a long comment. Anyway nice posting, and I appreciate it. Nice :)

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Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by, @happyphoenix. I appreciate you :)

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