Author Archives: aaronfairbairn

Sending Love on Veterans Day

War is nasty business, there’s no doubt about that. PFC Aaron Fairbairn and millions of have given their lives in military service to the United States of America. On this day, November 11th, every year, we honor those who have served in the various branches of the United States military.

We honor veterans because they have the nerve to man-up and be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. Most are not called upon to give their lives in service, but you would be surprised to learn that there are many other casualties of military service than those who are killed in battle.

Many suffer non-fatal injuries, experience extreme stress and trauma which may be associated with military service which could lead to a decline of the immune system, physical and psychological health, and shortened lifespan. Military service does take its toll on those who serve, and we are blessed by their volunteering to serve on our behalf.

You might be surprised to know that 22 veterans take their own lives every day. It makes you think there’s something not quite right about this. These people have really gone the extra mile for us, and for them to represent a large demographic of those who commit suicide every day in the USA, indicates a serious problem.

These are our heroes, the ones who have volunteered to stand in the gap for us. We are forever in their debt. We owe them, yet, in many cases, they feel lost, forgotten, or left suffering.

Even though we honor them often, especially on Veterans Day, in our hearts and minds, and honor their service by telling stories of their service, and proudly display their photos in uniform, they are not feeling as well as they could.

Interestingly, November 11th kicks off the holiday season; a time of year when those who feel good feel even better, and those who are not feeling well can feel far worse. So bad, in fact, that this time of year represents not only the season to celebrate joy, and spread goodwill, but also the time of year when suicides are far more prevalent. The most popular of days to commit suicide are December 25th, January 1st, (and followed by July 4th).

This year, I hope that you will join us in sending love and expressing gratitude for veterans, their service, and others in our communities and around the world.

Veterans and non-veterans can join us for Sending Love to the World, which starts today and runs throughout the months of November and December, ending on January 1st.

Of course, you can send love to the world at any time, some will elect to send love for 10 minutes or more from one day to every day throughout the season, but it is our hope that you would be willing to join us for a minimum of three minutes to send love to the world this holiday season in any manner which suits you best. You could pray, meditate, go to church, light a candle, whatever feels right for you. Every little bit helps, as it has a cumulative effect at a time when people might be feeling that the pain of living life might be worse than having no feeling at all.

Plus, you get the benefits of sending love to the world. Three minutes of sending love fill you and your heart with love, increasing healing and feel good hormones that increase and strengthen your immune system for up to eight hours. All from as few as three minutes of sending love to the world.

If you are not sure how to send love to the world, here is a free Sending Love to the World guided meditation video you could use at any time.

Please share and invite others to join us in sending love to veterans and the world this holiday season.

Much gratitude and love to all veterans who have served and sacrificed.

Honoring your service, sending love to you and yours every day.

God bless you for all you have done and continue to do.

In Loving Memory of PFC Aaron E Fairbairn

In Loving Memory

Private First Class

Aaron E. Fairbairn

February 2, 1898 ~ Yakima. Washington
July 4, 2009 ~ Paktika, Afghanistan

Funeral Service

11:00 o’clock, Saturday. July 18, 2009
Aberdeen High School ~ Sam Benn Gym

Officiating

Pastors Doug Marks & Jake Broady

Private Family Graveside Service
with Full Military Honors

Sunset Memorial Park
Hoquiam, Washington

Pallbearers

Andy Johnson, Justin Fairbairn, Gail Cross, Jesse Cross, Daniel Oszman, Kenny Bensinger

After Glow

“I’d like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I’d like to leave an after glow of smiles when life is done.
I’d like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I’d like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun
of happy memories that I leave when life is done.”

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is the day that we honor those who have served in the United States Armed Services consisting of the military services of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

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To those who have served and continue to serve, we offer up a huge debt of gratitude and heart-felt honor from those of us, the citizenry of the United States of America, whom you serve in our stead.

There have been times when serving in the US Armed Services was not an option. Those of us who are old enough, saw our friends and family mandated to serve in the military, forced to fight on our behalf by law, sometimes against their will. Regardless, whether a veteran volunteered or was drafted, you were placed in a position – that for whatever reason – I and my fellow Americans were spared.

You, our United States Veterans are the true heroes of our nation and in my opinion deserve the highest respect and honor.

On July 4, 2009 PFC Aaron Fairbairn was called upon by the President of the United States and God Almighty to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Years have passed since then, and the pain of that day is still ever present, though my thoughts of what took place on Aaron’s fateful day have run the gamut. I have had other relatives who served though they lived long enough to be honored on this day. Though I knew there would be times Aaron would be at risk, I expected him to return to American soil, as did my other relatives.

When I talked to him on the phone the evening of July third (after a period of imposed “radio silence” during which he was not allowed to call) he assured me that everything was okay. During that short phone conversation we talked and laughed before exchanging I-love-you(s) as he longed to phone other friends also while he had time. None of us had any idea that it was going to be the last time we would talk.

Though we honor all who have served, are serving and some are volunteering even as I type these words, some have made and will make the ultimate sacrifice carrying out their oath of service. For Aaron and all those who were called upon to deliver this fateful level of service, America honors them on Memorial Day.

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I can’t help to imagine what it must have been like for Aaron and his brothers in arms in the Battle of COP Zerok Paktika in Afghanistan that ensued that day, but it must have been horrifying. As unimaginable as it is for me to think that Aaron was having to draw fire on the enemy, I couldn’t help but think the young man who was shooting at him was someone else’s son, who also made the same sacrifice for what he believed in that day.

No matter what you think of war or the military in general, it can be a very nasty business and thanks to Aaron and all who have served, the rest of us are able to have the freedoms we are offered by the USA while we are spared the potential horror and/or loss of life thanks to their service.

To all Veterans:

May God bless everyone who has taken the States Armed Services oath of service. I will be forever grateful for your courage.

Thank you for your service.

This day, I feel that we are blood brothers and I honor you.

Remembering PFC Aaron Fairbairn 4th of July

Aaron Fairbairn and so many others have given all they possibly could on our behalf. It is the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice over the years that enable us to celebrate enthusiastically on Independence Day, the 4th of July.

PFC Aaron Fairbairn Homecoming Bowerman Field Hoquiam Washington July 2009

Aaron so loved celebrating the 4th of July with our family in an annual reunion usually in Seaside, Oregon, a coastal town, not far from our Aberdeen, Washington hometown. Aaron thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of it all, especially firing off his own fireworks and viewing the local fireworks spectacle of Seaside’s Independence Day celebrations.

It seems somewhat a twist of fate, that he would be killed by military fireworks while in combat in Paktika, Afghanistan during a surprise attack on his base of the 4th of July.

The day, when we would have been celebrating with Aaron in proxy (as we all had spoken to him the evening of July 3rd) on this day, Aaron’s mother, sister and brother were on a flight to Dover, to await Aaron’s return to U.S. soil.

I was there, when he took the oath to serve, even pledged to die, if necessary, for our country. To tell you the truth, I never thought he would have to pay that price for his service, or that Aaron’s life would end like this, at 20-years-old, on his first tour.

Today, and on every 4th of July now, we still gather (now as separate families) celebrating the 4th of July with a much more somber respect and attitude than before Aaron’s passing… And I know that we are not alone.

Aberdeen VFW Post 224 honors Grays Harbor KIA in Aberdeen Founders Day Parade July 2 2016 Aaron Fairbairn a

There are so many families and friends of those who have answered the call and given their all. We honor them, their sacrifice, and the loss of the ones left behind to honor the memories of their service, without which we would not enjoy the lives that we live.

A huge “Thank You,” and a slow salute for all the fallen and the friends and families with whom we share this honor.

#thankyouaaron

 

Remembering… Memorial Day

That’s what Memorial Day is… a day to reverently reflect on those who have served and paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

For those who lost a loved one in service, every day is a memorial day.

Laying PFC Aaron Fairbairn to rest KIA July 4 2009 Afghanistan

Time does heal, things do get better and life goes on, if you can survive the tragedy.

Taps in honor of memorial day Aaron Fairbairn thankyouaaronToday, I can look at a flag waving in the breeze without letting a tear drop. I can walk up to military staff in public, shake their hand and tank them for their service fairly easily. Taps (the haunting single-trumpet or bulge song played at military funerals) will always be a haunting tune for our family.

For our family, Memorial Day is a solemn time for remembering Aaron, the people that he served with, the others who gave their lives due to the same sequence of events that led them to answer the call, making the ultimate sacrifice and all other men and women who have served and given all for the greater good.

Behind the scenes, this last week, cemeteries along with veterans, boy scouts and other concerned people and organizations have visited the graves of all who have given their lives in service to our country and pre-decorated the gravesides for those who would come to visit.

If you’ve never don’t it before, visiting a decorated cemetery on Memorial Day touches your heart in a way that is difficult to explain. We go there to see Aaron, but to see such a high percentage of other gravesites marking those who have shared in Aaron’s heroism is deeply impactful.

This weekend friends and family travel to cemeteries all across the United States to pay their respects to those whom we honor this weekend, though there are many who have little regard for the reason behind Memorial Day and focus more on having the long weekend to have fun and frolic – which is, in fact, part of the meaning behind this weekend – for without the price for freedom being paid by others, we would not be able to enjoy the life we live in the USA.

In the morning on Memorial Day, flags will wave at half-mast, just like they did all over the State of Washington in honor of Aaron’s sacrifice; another image that is deeply felt by those who have share the loss of a loved one in military service.

In my brother’s town (Washington D.C.) the United States Capitol will be hosting the National Memorial Day Concert to honor the men and women who gave their lives for this country.

Taps will be played at Memorial Day flag ceremonies presented by Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Veteran’s organizations and other paramilitary organizations around America this weekend in honor of those who have paid the ultimate price.

All service people give of themselves, for which we are so grateful; this is a celebration of the lives of the heroes who have given all, making it possible for us to enjoy all this life has to offer.

Happy Birthday PFC Aaron Fairbairn RIP

Memorial sculpture in honor of Aaron Fairbairn by Jaycie WakefieldRemembering PFC Aaron Fairbairn who paid the ultimate price for our country while serving in the United States Armed Forces July 4th, 2009 in the Battle of COP Zerok in Paktika, Afghanistan. On this day he would have celebrated his birthday, ‘ere we celebrate it on his behalf in remembrance of our friend, family member and hometown hero.

It is always bittersweet honoring such a young man who answered the call and honorably kept his oath of service ‘til he was called upon to give all that he possibly could in service of his God and Country.

He may be gone, but not far off as he is still such a source of fond memories and continually an inspiration to others.

Also, as we remember Aaron, we remember his brothers in arms who also paid the ultimate price in those difficult moments leading to his being mortally wounded.

PFC Aaron Fairbairn KIA July 4 2009 Paktika AfghanistanWe also pray for those who continue to serve on the behalf of those of us who enjoy the sanctity of the freedoms for which they protect for us while standing in the gap.

We honor you all, and pray that you remain faithful, diligent and come home safely to reunite with your family and friends.

Happy Birthday, Aaron

… and love to all who serve.

Honoring All United States Veterans

It is that time of the year that we honor all who have served on the behalf of those Americans who did not have to step up to the plate directly because the real heroes have taken the risk of defending us. The least we could do is to offer our most sincere gratitude to those who have answered the call.

Honoring all United States Veterans Thank you for your service aaronfairbairnIt is due to the efforts of these men and women who have accepted the call that we enjoy the freedoms that we have as Americans, lest we forget that regardless of what our opinions may be, that many have fought and supported our right to have your independent beliefs and have offered us a degree of safety while we enjoy the lives that we lead in the United States of America.

Many have fought bravely and some have even paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.
Yes, PFC Aaron Fairbairn was a 20-year-old volunteer who willing accepted the responsibility and it cost him the ability to live the life that would have been fitting for such an honorable young man. Our hearts break every day, realizing that his strength and honor would mean that he would not marry, or lovingly raise children that would be a part of his legacy.

His legacy, like that of so many others, would be that of a hero; one who was willing to give his life for his friends, brothers in arms, relatives and fellow Americans. He is but one, but his sacrifice will long be remembered by many, as will the lives of others who preceded him in making the ultimate sacrifice and each one who has done so since.

Every day, many individuals perform a wide variety of functions to maintain peace of Americans with dignity and this day is set aside to honor them – each and every one of them – who have given a portion of their lives in support of our country and the greater good.

Thank you; every American who has served and those who are currently in service.

Today is your day.

May you all receive the respect for serving with strength and honor, just as Aaron did. My hope for you is that you enjoy all the benefits for the sacrifices you have made for us.

God bless you for your service, and I thank God for every one of you.

#thankyouaaron

 

Hero’s welcome for fallen soldier

By Keith Eldridge Published: Jul 14, 2009 at 4:54 PM PDT

HOQUIAM, Wash. — Pfc. Aaron Fairbairn left home to join the Army a year and a half ago. On Tuesday the body of the 20-year-old soldier was flown home and welcomed with full honors.
Fairbairn was serving in Afghanistan with the 4th Brigade Combat Team when a Taliban suicide bomber drove a truck full of explosives into his military camp on July 4.

His family had just talked with him the day before the attack after a week without contact because phones in the military base were down.

“You try not to think the worst, but it does come out and then we heard from him, it was great,” said Fairbairn’s brother, Beau Beck. “And 12 hours later we get the news. It’s just unbelievable.”

At Bowerman Field in Hoquiam on Tuesday, Patriot Guard Riders stood at attention as the flag-draped casket was lowered from a private jet provided by the military.

Fairbairn’s family and friends were there, along with people who’d never met the young solder but wanted to show their support.

“You can see the support,” Beck said. “He was a soldier and that’s a lot of it, but he has a lot of friends around here, and it was a great turnout to honor him.”

Beck was able to accompany his brother’s body on the flight back from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

“That was the biggest honor for me, as his brother, to fly back and bring him back to his hometown.”

John Harpe was among the motorcycle riders who took part in the ceremony honoring Fairbairn at the request of the soldier’s family.

“I want to let the military service know that the folks back home support them in every aspect of their lives, and we’ll be here in their darkest hour as well,” he said.

A procession of motorcycles, fire engines and private vehicles escorted Fairbairn’s body home from the airport.

“The community came out and showed their respect for a soldier, a brother a friend,” Beck said.

Fairbairn joined the Army after he graduated from Aberdeen High School, and a public memorial will be held there at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

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Source: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/50800952.html?tab=video&c=y

Memorial Day May 25, 2015

Nothing like a three-day weekend to remind you of all that you have; a chance to load up the kids and head for the beach, gather with family and friends & fire up the barbeque, laugh, frolic and enjoy discount sales at your favorite stores.

But this weekend is Memorial Day weekend. It is the day that is set aside to honor those who have given their lives for us to enjoy our everyday lives, here in the United States of America.

Memorial Day remember the fallen heroes thankyouaaron

This business of protecting our American freedoms can be an ugly endeavor and thank God for the men and women who volunteer to take on the responsibility of standing in the gap on our behalf. They all take the same oath; some pay the ultimate price, not coming home in a seat but in a flag-draped box.

This Memorial Day remember the fallen heroes thankyouaaron

Regardless of political affiliation or personal belief, these men and women who have given their all on our behalf are true American heroes; the performance of their duties must be respected and their sacrifice is to be honored.

Memorial Day May 25 2015

Of the millions of American families who get together this holiday in joyous celebration, many with an empty place-setting experience a more somber reverance, recognizing that their number is one less and Monday is the day that we decorate their graves.

Memorial Day Missing Man Table we remember

Yes, we all should celebrate, party and have a good time; but also remember to take a moment to peacefully pause in remembrance of those who have given all that they possibly could. After all, this is the cause for celebrating this holday.

Memorial Day Remembbrance Table

Love to all who serve and continue to stand in the gap, as we honor our fallen heroes this Memorial Day 2015.

 

Veterans Day 2014

It is all I can do to express the deepest most heart-felt gratitude for all who have answered the call in service to our country.

Cop-Zerok-Afghanistan-Cop-Zerok-Honor-the-Fallen-Soldiers

There may be no higher honor than to serve unreservedly, to put yourself in harm’s way on the behalf of your fellow citizens. Truly each and very sone of you gave some but some have given all.

all-gave-some-some-gave-all-veterans-day-united-states-flag-honor-the-fallen

To our men and women in uniform… past, present and future God bless you… and thank you.

Independence Day July 4th Five Years Ago

Independence Day; it’s not all about partying – although celebrating our liberties is certainly a major component – it is also a time to reflect gratitude for those who have paved the way for the freedoms that we enjoy in our great nation.

PFC-Aaron-Fairbairn-KIA-July-4-2009-Paktika-Afghanistan-thankyouaaronMy wife and I had the privilege to raise a young man into the kind of man who would be honored as a hero laying down his life on our behalf in honor of those very freedoms. PFC Aaron Fairbairn was an inspiration and a blessing to all who knew him and especially his brothers in arms who were there on that fateful day in Paktika, Afghanistan, to me, he was – and will always be – my son.

The fourth of July has always been a special time for Aaron and our family, as we would rendezvous every year at a seaside community to celebrate Independence Day and enjoy the fireworks. Aaron always enjoyed lighting his own fireworks on the beach prior to the official pyrotechnic performance. The only other holiday he loved more, was Christmas.

It was five years ago, today, that Aaron’s mother and I answered a knock at the door; a pair of unexpected Army men in full-dress uniform. It was impossible to believe the news, as it had only been hours since we’d talked to Aaron on the phone.

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Sascha, Beau and Aaron

Within hours Aaron’s brother, Beau, sister Sascha and my wife, Shelley, were accompanied by a Casualty Assistance Officer flying from Seattle to Dover to meet Aaron when he touched down on American soil.

I had done such a good job of doing what I could to keep everyone as calm as possible, blanketed in love, ‘til their departure. I had called every friend and family member’s number in our address book. Since it was the 4th of July, I was forced to leave phone messages for everyone.

At the time, I had been working with a team of authors for a couple of months and we’d kept contact through Twitter. Though they were obviously not online at the time, I reached out to Twitter. My first compassionate words following the departure of my family were from a Twitter user I didn’t even know.

Freedom-is-not-free-thankyouaaron-Aaron-Fairbairn-July-4In that moment all my strength vanished as my heart broke. Within hours the Twitter community had chimed-in and the hashtag #thankyouaaron rocketed up to number one on the Twitter charts in honor of Aaron’s sacrifice.

I was blessed, encouraged as Aaron was honored in that moment, and it helped me knowing that Aaron’s loss of life was not inconsequential; even in his sacrifice, he had touched the lives of others who hadn’t (and never would have) had the chance to experience the joy of meeting him.

The last five years has been like a lifetime, only to have Aaron’s name in the media again, due to some connection that may exist between Bowe Bergdahl’s “capture” and the attack that resulted in Aaron’s making the ultimate sacrifice.

Aaron-E-Fairbairn-Justin-A-Casillas-PFC-Army-4-July-09-AfghanistanI hope that whatever drama surrounds Bergdahl doesn’t tarnish the image of any service man or woman who puts their life on the line every day, so that we can celebrate Independence Day; Aaron was such a man. And I have the deepest respect and gratitude for anyone who donned a uniform and stood shoulder to shoulder with Aaron.

America may have issues, but I love this country and every man and woman who is willing to step up for you and I, so that we can enjoy – and even argue or complain about – this great land of the free and home of the brave.

Thank you, all who have answered the call. We are all forever in your debt.

God bless you – and America,

-David Masters

 

 

Welcome Home Bowe Bergdahl

RIP-PFC-Aaron-Fairbairn-Aberdeen-High-School-July-4-2009I really can’t speak for my son, PFC Aaron Fairbairn whose name is listed as one of those killed in connection with the controversial disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in 2009. Suffice it to say, Aaron was a kind and gentle soul, and also proud to be in service to his country. The now-growing scandal and ongoing investigation regarding Bergdahl’s release has no impact on the memory of the brave, dedicated, compassionate person and upstanding character of my son.

Knowing Bowe as he did, serving with him in the same unit in Afghanistan, I am sure Aaron’s first response regarding Bowe’s release from the enemy, the Taliban who held him for five years, would have been joy for his fellow soldier and family back home. Any further statement from me regarding Aaron’s reaction or opinion would be pure conjecture, just a guess on my part or anyone else who would speak for him.

Aaron-Fairbairn-In-loving-memory-of-a-fallen-soldier-1989-2009As for me, however, I have prayed that Bowe (who was one of Aaron’s brothers-in-arms and friend) would return home safely, every day since I learned of his capture. I was tearfully grateful when I first heard about Bergdahl’s release, which was abruptly interrupted by a storm of controversy surrounding his exchange for five top tier terrorists being held in Guantanamo. I admit that I am bewildered and greatly bothered by the statements and accusations made against Bowe Bergdahl, the army, the government and the Obama administration by fellow soldiers who knew and served with distinction with my son.

Whatever the outcome of the controversy and investigation, I am first and foremost saddened with this happening. Truth be told, if it is proven that the government did conspire to free five of the worst terrorists in exchange for a someone who may have conspired with the enemy, causing the death of fellow soldiers, including my son, then I can only hope and pray that justice is served, and swift.

I, for one, though would rather steer clear of the rumors and conjecture while vying for the truth to be revealed in a succinct and reverent manner. There is so much hatred and anger surrounding the matter and I have no desire to add fuel to the fire.

david-masters-aaron-fairbairnFor now, let me say that at first we thought it was Aaron who had been abducted because we hadn’t heard from him since that event was reported in the news. We were never so happy to be able to speak with him on the 3rd of July, which turned out to be the day before he was killed in a Taliban attack.

I can only speak as a parent. As such, I am so happy for Bowe’s parents, that they can see their son come home, alive. Many have given far more than the average American could even fathom; but blessed are the loved ones of every single serviceperson who are able to greet him or her returning from harm’s way.

When Aaron called us on that July 3rd, it was after a radio silence that had been initiated by Bowe’s incident. Since we hadn’t heard from him in a week, when we heard the report of Bowe’s “capture” (then unidentified) we feared that it might have been Aaron who was captured. When Aaron called, it put our hearts at rest. Also, when he called, he was instructed not to talk about the Bowe incident. In fact, when I asked him about it, he said that he didn’t know anything about it and that it must have happened elsewhere.

I do not know, but Bowe’s incident did put COP Zerok at risk, and possibly did lead to the July 4th attack… But, I have learned that so much happens in the military that we are not privy to. The soldiers are sworn to secrecy and directed to adopt “official versions” of what actually transpires. We have all heard very strange stories that do not make sense to us, here safe at home. This war has taken a horrific toll on our children, family, friends and nation. I cannot even begin to imagine what is happening in the minds of those in service overseas.

I mean no disrespect to the military, how they operate, nor do I wish to dishonor Aaron’s sacrifice in any way. As far as I am concerned, Aaron proudly took this risk in the most honorable way. He will always be regarded as a hero.

Bring-home-Bowe-Bergdahl-POW-July-4-2013-Aaron-Fairbairn-HonoredBowe’s matter is between the Army (because he was under contract with them) and his maker.

Sadly, people who serve in battle sometimes are not able to return to their families. Other times, when they do come back, they bring trauma that is buried deep inside; they man-up the best they can. Some are more capable to handle the trauma than others are.

Aren’t we all just trying to make our own way?

Finally, speaking as an American, I am trying to understand what is now occurring, to wade through the red tape, lies and deception from wherever it emanates, in order to understand what we are truly facing, abroad and here at home.

God bless America.

David Masters

 

 

Memorial Day 2014

On Memorial Day we remember the fallen. Those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Remember-the-Fallen-Memorial-Day-2014-Aaron-FairbairnThere are so many who have given some and so many who have given all in the name of God and country.

On July 4th, 2009, PFC Aaron Fairbairn joined the ranks of the heroes who have he ultimate price on our behalf, so that we can live in a land that is free.

I am not the only person who would have gladly traded places with Aaron in that moment. Aaron was so loved and had so much to give that many would have rather taken his place so that the world would know how much he had to give to other privileged to share in his presence. But his journey was that of the honored hero by his choice and was his destiny.

There is not a more honorable challenge to any human who is willing to lay down his life for the benefit of his friends, and Aaron and so many others have accepted this charge that we remember on this day and are so grateful for their sacrifice.

In this way they have made such a significant impact on our lives, that is easy for us to overlook while we are content to work, play and relax in our neighborhoods and homes as others – even now – have elected to accept the difficult details for us, knowing that any breath they take might be their last.

This day, I join with all by brethren who have also lost a loved one in service to God and country, because the sacrifice is not only paid by the hero, but also evermore by each and everyone who love and cared for the… and are reminded of their sacrifice daily.

But on this day, we all stand hand-in-hand agreeing together regardless of our differences in gratitude of all who have fallen for us.

We honor, love and are grateful for each and every one, this Memorial Day (if not every day of) 2014. God bless all who have gone on to fight the fight from beyond, and all those who still feel the price of their heroism.

Veterans Day November 11, 2013

We sincerely honor all who have answered the call to serve on our behalf in service to our country. Without you, we may not be able to enjoy the freedoms that are so easy to take for granted.

Today is a special day in our country. This is Veteran’s Day. According to Wikipedia: “Veterans Day is an annual American holiday honoring military veterans. It is a federal holiday, and a state holiday in all 50 states, usually celebrated on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world.”

PFC-Aaron-Fairbairn-Salutes-All-Who-Serve-on-Veterans-DayIt is celebrated on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. The hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.

President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day as November 11, 1919. The United States Congress passed a resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting the President issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. An Act (52 Stat. 351;5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday; “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Aristice Day’.”

In 1953, and Emporia, Kansas shoe store owner named Al King had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who served in World War I. King had been actively involved with the American War Dads during World War II. He began a campaign to turn Armistice into “All” Veterans Day. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause after determining that 90% of Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education supported closing their doors on November 11, 1953, to honor veterans. With the help of then – U.S. Rep. Ed Rees, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954. Congress amended this act on November 8, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with Veterans, and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

Today is the special day we honor the men and women that served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America. It is even more special because we, the veterans and families of veterans of Aberdeen and all of Grays Harbor are honoring the sacrifice of Private First Class Aaron Eli Fairbairn who was killed in the line of duty on Saturday, July 4, 2009 at the U.S. Army base in Paktika, Afghanistan. We are, today, adding his name to this Memorial outside the Aberdeen City Hall, so that he will never be forgotten.

He is not the first to die in the defense of the United States, nor will he be the last. He will not be forgotten, and none of the other “heroes” who served in the U.S. military will ever be forgotten. They cannot be forgotten because the world is a better place for their service.

Today is the special day we honor and remember all the U.S. veterans, but it is not the only day they should be remembered. They should be honored and remembered every day, because the world is a better place for their service.

The preceeding was an excerpt from the Veterans Day ceremony November 11, 2009 delivered by Jim Daly, Commander, Aberdeen Post #224, Veterans of Foreign War, adding Private First Class Aaron Eli Fairbairn to the Aberdeen City Hall Memorial.

The sacrifice of all who serve takes many forms; sometimes it’s time away from family and sometimes it takes everything that you and your family could ever possibly give.

May you be honored this – and every – day for taking the pledge to represent who bask in the safety and security of our nation, thanks to you.

Twitter Hashtag #thankyouaaron Honors Fallen Soldier

Only July 4th amidst the celebration of Independence Day the hastag #thankyouaaron rocketed up the Twitter charts in the first social media permanent memorial of a fallen soldier. PFC Aaron Fairbairn was killed in an attack on his outpost in Paktika, Afghanistan.

PFC-Aaron-Fairbairn-OfficialFollowing the departure of Aaron’s mother, Shelley Masters, brother, Beau Beck and sister, Sascha Davidson via flight to Dover, Delaware to await the arrival of Aaron’s body on U.S. soil, David Masters, Fairbairn’s stepfater, tweeted about the events as they unfolded in realtime.

According to David, “In my family’s absence, I was running ‘Aaron Central,’ phoning everyone I could to report the loss of Aaron. Being the 4th of July, I was unable to contact anyone in person as everyone was out celebrating. All I could do was leave answering machine messages and voicemails.

Frustrated, grieving and feeling so isolated and alone, I reached out to my friends via Twitter… who were also not monitoring their Twitter feeds at the time… but I did get one reply from a stranger that said simply, ‘Sorry for your loss.’

It was so good to have some human interaction as my family was in-flight across the USA, and that simple message touched my heart, and I fell apart. Realizing the reality of what had taken place on this day.

The result was seeing Aaron’s sacrifice honored by so many twitter followers that the hashtag #thankyouaaron reached number one on the Twitter charts.

That evening and in the days that followed, Aaron was featured in major media, newspapers, radio, news and television programs.”

Tim-Madding-Aaron-Fairbairn-David-Masters-Ethan-MaddingAdam Koeppe says, “I may not remember where I was when Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” was number one on the charts, but I will always remember seeing “thank you Aaron” becoming the top Twitter topic. If there had been any doubt of the internet’s ability to bring people together for a cause they believe in, the appreciation of the service of Aaron Fairbairn should eliminate this misconception completely.

‘Thank you Aaron’ was a moment those involved will never forget. In an era where there are few true heroes, the Twitterverse chose to honor the life of a young man. Without the filtering and bias of the mainstream media, the world is showing it’s true heart and soul through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.”

Augie Ray, Director of Social Media for a Fortune 100 financial service commpany shares his personal experience, “I had just come home from a Fourth of July picnic. My mood was happy and
carefree–I’d enjoyed the company of friends, ate well, and lit the fuses on more than my share of fireworks. Then I saw a tweet from someone I follow and it changed my mood instantaneously. Aaron’s sacrifice, his father’s anguished tweets, and the concern of those who are complete strangers to Aaron and David put the day and its meaning into perspective.”

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,530123,00.html

http://www.mediaite.com/online/slain-soldier-aaron-fairbairns-dad-rallies-twitter-tribute/

http://www.adamkoeppe.com/aaron-fairbairn-s-story-how-social-media-memorialized-a-fallen-soldier

http://www.experiencetheblog.com/2009/07/twitters-big-heart-thankyouaaron.html

 

 

Remembering #thankyouaaron Killed on the 4th of July

On the evening of July 3rd, David Masters and his wife, Shelley, laughed in relief Friday when they learned their son, an Army private in Afghanistan, was just fine, busy working out and watching videos his family had sent.

Aaron-Fairbairn-Senior-PhotoThen, on Saturday, Fourth of July morning, an Army chaplain and soldier showed up at their Aberdeen house and told him Pvt. Aaron Fairbairn, 21, had been fatally injured in a truck bombing. Based on news accounts, Masters believes Fairbairn was one of two soldiers fatally injured when a Taliban insurgent drove an explosives-filled truck through the gates of a U.S. base in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province.

The Department of Defense had yet to confirm the identities of the two killed.

The news was devastating for a family that had come together a decade ago in a union mirroring the “Brady Bunch” clan: The marriage was the second for both Masters and his wife, who each had three kids roughly the same age. Fairbairn was Masters’ stepson.

“If there’s any day when you’re going to make that kind of sacrifice … ” Masters said, his voice tearfully trailing away. Finally, he said: “I realize Aaron’s just one guy coming home not sitting in a seat. Lots of other guys have made that same sacrifice.”

Sascha-Davidson-Aaron-Fairbairn-Jaycie-Wakefield-Tabitha-Bastien-Jeff-WakefieldUntil Fairbairn enlisted, family members would drop everything on the Fourth to assemble in Seaside, Oregon, an annual tradition. “For our family, it’s a really huge deal,” Masters said.

This year, Fairbairn’s mother, brother and sister flew to Dover, Del., on Independence Day so they could bring the young soldier’s remains back to Washington.

“At first I didn’t believe it,” said Beau Beck, Fairbairn’s oldest brother, who learned about his brother’s death while he was coaching a Little League team.

“I talked to Aaron probably 12 hours prior to that,” Beck said from Dover. “The first thing that rushed to my mind is that he’s so young and such a good kid.”

His stepfather described him as joyous, honest and dependable, the kid everyone knew first as the paperboy, then as a local lot attendant or the guy who worked at Papa Murphy’s Pizza.

Tim-Madding-Aaron-Fairbairn-Andrea-Madding-Ethan-MaddingFairbairn, a graduate of Aberdeen’s Weatherwax High, was an off-road enthusiast who loved riding dirt bikes and four-wheeling in his truck. He hadn’t yet decided what he wanted to do after the service but leaned toward mechanics.

After getting the news of Fairbairn’s death, Masters went online, sending out a post on social-networking service Twitter.

Masters noted that he would like to see his son’s sacrifice observed using the term #thankyouaaron. For a time late Saturday night his request was fulfilled and “#thankyouaaron” was the most-used term on Twitter, according to the Web site. Other Twitter posters by the thousands thanked Fairbairn and sent words of encouragement to his family.

Just last week, Masters and his wife felt reassured about Fairbairn’s well-being even though he was in Afghanistan. They had heard a report saying a U.S. soldier had been kidnapped. Because they hadn’t heard from Fairbairn in a while, Masters messaged him on the social-networking site MySpace, which his stepson used to stay in touch with family and friends.

“I told him he’d better call,” said Masters, an officer for the state Department of Corrections.

Aaron-Fairbairn-with-mortarWhen he finally did, Masters said, it turned out their youngest son hardly ever left the base, spending much of his free time watching the show “Heroes” on DVDs his family had shipped to Afghanistan.

“He was just glad to be over there making a few extra bucks so he could pay off his truck,” Masters said.

According to Associated Press reports, the attack on the base was part of a multipronged attack in the Paktika province and came as thousands of U.S. Marines in the country’s south continued with a massive anti-Taliban push.

Beck said some may find patriotic significance in his brother’s death on July Fourth. “But I don’t care about that. It’s my brother.”

Thanks to the following sources for honoring Aaron’s Sacrifice:

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2009421919_soldier06m.html

http://www.vancouverite.com/2009/07/06/on-independence-day-a-few-hours-ago-they-killed-my-son-aaron-in-afghanistan/

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/07/05/thank-you-aaron-a-us-soldiers-sacrifice-on-independence-day/

http://northshorejournal.org/aaron-fairbairn-kia-afghanistan-july-4-2009

 

Remember the Fallen – Memorial Day

PFC Aaron E. Fairbairn was only 20 years old when he made good on his promise to honor God and country, even to the extent of having to sacrifice his own life while fighting amidst his heroic brothers in arms. On that unforgettable 4th of July, 2009, Aaron joined the rank and file of the countless number of other heroes who have sacrificed their all in service of America, and the freedoms that we the living hold so dear, yet all too often take for granted.

aaron-fairbairn-memorial-day-600We celebrate during this long weekend, saluting those who gave their all for the notion that we, each and every one, are born with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. However, for Aaron, and all who gave their lives, let us take a moment to pause in silence, to remember.

While you are enjoying the holiday with those you care about, let us think of the other families whose members are absent, for they have paid the ultimate price for this occasion. All have given some and some have given all. In memory of Aaron, I respectfully request that you join me in honoring all past American heroes, and pray for their souls and their loved ones, while also honoring those who continue to put themselves in harms way for us, here at home.

Because my Aaron was so alive with the promise of America, and a better world for all mankind, my Memorial Day not only glorifies those who have been lost, but those who are in action right now. My Memorial Day reminds me of those who have not only crossed over while wearing a uniform, but those who are serving proudly, though oftentimes neither respected nor appreciated appropriately. My Memorial Day merges the past and present for allowing us the freedoms of this great country.

Aaron died defending freedom. We the living must salute those in service who continue to serve from beyond while continuing to support those who have taken their place. Whenever I hear taps, when I see fireworks in the sky, when I see flags hanging proudly on their staffs, I know that I am safe and I know that I am free. How good it is to know that as long as courageous men and women are willing to fight for all that is great about America, we can sing ‘God Bless America’, and say, ‘Thank you’.

In loving memory, of Aaron Fairbairn.

Battle Of COP Zerok Paktika Province Afghanistan July 4th 2009

Battleground Afghanistan documentary on Spartan Heroes: Battle Of COP Zerok Paktika Province Afghanistan July 4th 2009

Features July 4th, 2009 attack on the Airborne 4th Brigade 25th Infantry Division at RC East, 4/25 ABCT Area of Operation South Eastern Afghanistan 3-509 Infantry Airborne Battalion.

In memory of PFC Justin Casillas & PFC Aaron Fairbairn

They will never be forgotten

The documentary features video taken that day by soldiers, as well as propaganda video found on insurgents weeks after the battle.

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” – Thomas Paine 1776

July 4th, 2009 at 0535 the first round impacted Combat Out Post Zerok, E. Paktika, Afghanistan as Able Company 3-509 jumped into action to respond in kind.

Including PFC Josh Fuller Grenadier, SPC James Channer Gun Team Leader, SSG Jarrod Mahfouz Fire Support NCO, 1LT Mike Bassi 2nd Platoon Leader, SPC David Fantell Team Leader, 1LT Jonathan Mummert Fire Support OIC, CPT Bryce Kawaguchi Able Co. Commander, SPC Gregory Jemison Senior Line Medic

spartan-heroes-attack-on-the-4th-of-july-pfc-justin-casillas-pfc-aaron-fairbairn-305-infantry-airborne-battalion“The attack on Cop Zerok was an assault on the men who fought bravely that day. But it was also an affront on the values that make America great. It was no coincidence the insurgence attacked on Independence Day. These terrorists stand against everything the United States fights for. The 4th of July is a day to celebrate our freedom and during all the wonderful festivities take a moment to remember the sacrifice of men like Casillas and Fairbairn along with the millions before them that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our liberty.”

Story by SPC Robert Ham

Awards from the July 4th Attack

Silver Star: PFC Justin Casillas

Bronze Star Medal with V device: CPL Brian Phillips, SPC James Channer

Army Commendation Medal with V device: 1LT Jonathan Mummert, SSG Jarrod Mahfouz, SGT Christian Nooney, SGT Michael Fink, PFC Jeremy Theisen, SPC David Fantell

Our deepest gratitude for all the men who fought bravely with PFC Aaron Fairbain, and to all the men and women continue to serve for the greater good. God bless you.

Writing Aaron’s Book

Aaron’s step-father, David Masters, is writing a book about Aaron Fairbairn (aka Aaron Ben-Neth earlier in life) in an effort to honor his sacrifice and allow the details of his life, his impact on those whose lives were affected by his presence, to be shared.

A true American Hero, Aaron paid the ultimate price on July 4, 2009 in Afghanistan and prior to his being killed in action, he touched the lives of so many people…

Your comments, stories and remembrances are encouraged for sharing. Comments submitted via this site will not be posted on this site, unless you specifically approve your comment for posting by including the following phrase: Approved for Posting.

Feel free to send your story/stories via email to admin@aaronfairbairn.com include contact information if you would like a follow-up call for further conversation.

Aaron’s story is a work-in-progress and the results will be a representation of those who loved, cared about and continue to miss him.

To ensure your voice is heard and your story is told, please submit a comment below, or send an email to admin@aaronfairbairn.com

Happy Birthday Aaron Fairbairn February 2

aaronelifairbairnPFC Aaron Eli Fairbairn from Aberdeen, Washington and Fort Richardson, Alaska may no longer be with us, but we continually celebrate your life that was given in sacrifice for our country and the freedoms that we who loved you – and those who never knew you – enjoy in the United States of America.

You are a true American hero, as are those who have not only have made the ultimate sacrifice, but continue to sacrifice daily for what makes us proud to be Americans.

To think that you gave your life on America’s birthday makes your birthday more than just another reason for us to celebrate you, your life and your sacrifice.

Simply said, Happy Birthday and, “Thank you Aaron.”