Letter From a Dead Soldier's Mom
By Summer Lipford
My son, Steven Sirko, died in Iraq April 17, 2005. It has been 1 year, 2 months and 18 days since the last time I saw my son's face. I have not looked into his sky blue eyes for 1 year, 5 months and 18 days, for the last time I saw that beautiful face his eyes were closed, he was dead. I stroked his hair, I kissed his face, I held him as closely as I could, I was one of the lucky parents, his casket was open. Then on the other hand, I have to face reality. I know he is gone. I cannot pretend he is on a secret mission and I have been lied to to keep his "cover" quiet, not like some parents who have the closed casket. "NOT VIEWABLE." They can continue to pretend and tell themselves it really wasn't their child in that metal box.
I still cannot sleep, cannot eat, cannot have peace. I was raised knowing I have a soul. I did not know my own soul. I could not taste it, feel it, touch it or hear it, but nevertheless I was quite sure I had one -- or so I thought. The morning of April 17th, 2005, it was confirmed I did have a soul. I know for sure I had a soul, because after receiving the news that my son was dead my soul left my body. It has never returned.
I had been against the war and this administration from the beginning. When Steven enlisted, his dad and I were angry with him. His dad and I both talked to him long and hard about not going into the military, not because it was not honorable to enlist but because this administration was not honorable and had already invaded Iraq. Steven, being 18 years old, had been "taken in" by a recruiter and told "This Iraq thing will be over before your out of AIT."
We knew better.