There are few things that tug at my heartstrings more than a Gold Star parent. Ceejay Metcalf is the Gold Star dad of Pfc. Michael Metcalf, who was k****d in a roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan on his first mission en route to rescue fellow soldiers. He appeared on Fox & Friends to tell how moved he was by President Trump’s message to him during Monday evening’s memorial reception at the White House. Obama never even recognized his son’s sacrifice, but President Trump certainly did.
President Trump shook Metcalf’s hand and said, “Enjoy your evening, pops,” at the reception, a name his son would always refer to him as. Another tiny detail that Trump cared enough to find out about. Something you would never see Barack Obama do. Not in a million years. “It took everything I had to not have tears in my eyes over it,” he said. I can’t imagine how much that meant to that father. It eased the loss just a little bit and let him know that his son did not d*e for nothing and will always be remembered as the hero he is.
“In fact when I think about it, it’s emotional to me,” Metcalf said, fighting back tears. How could it not be? Having the Commander-in-Chief do such a thing would mean the world to any parent who has lost a child in battle. “It meant a lot to me.” Metcalf says that his son was a brave man and didn’t fear the fight when it came to his service. “He had a good heart and he loved to be there for somebody,” he said. He was a handsome, strong, young warrior who made the ultimate sacrifice so you and I can sleep peacefully and soundly at night knowing we are protected by men like him.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 5, 2018
Michael Metcalf kept a hand-written note from his mother tucked inside his United States Army uniform. On April 22, 2012, he rushed to rescue his comrades in Patkia, Afghanistan, and drove over a bomb. “Well my wonderful son, the time is here for you to open your eyes & see what’s really happening in this crazy world! I know you will be fine. You are my “life” I love you more than anyone or anything ever! I am always here for you. Remember that. Come home to me safe!!!” The blast threw the 22 year-old soldier from Boynton Beach out of the truck, splintering his ribs. A main artery severed. Doctors could not stop the bleeding. He died on the battlefield where he fought. Her son’s blood stains nearly the entire letter.
Five years later, Metcalf’s mother keeps the note protected in a plastic sleeve in a trunk with her son’s uniform and his boots, still discolored from the Afghanistan desert dirt. There’s another letter — one addressed to her that he never got the chance to send. Kim Metcalf goes through that trunk lovingly touching the items that belonged to her son, just remembering and in some way being with him.
Since her son’s d***h, Kim has traveled across the country to meet with Michael’s friends, their families and other military moms who have lost sons. She keeps her son’s memory alive, but she’s found that so does everyone else. She receives messages on Facebook from people who say they knew Michael. His name is on memorials across the country. “Michael, he won’t be forgotten. He really won’t,” she said. Michael’s team, the 82nd Airborne Division known as the White Devils, has been called back to Afghanistan for the third time. “He was tough he couldn’t wait,” Kim said. “When they made the call to go rescue the truck… he was the first one to the truck, saying “let’s go, let’s go.”
If you’ve ever lost someone, you can relate to this mother. Grief is a devastating thing. Some never get over it. Both of Michael’s parents have learned to deal with it and believe that their son is still with them in ways hard to explain. That faith is something you either have or you don’t.
Here is the letter that Michael wrote his mom that he never got to send:
“It’s Sunday here around 8:30 (morning for us) we’re still at the bigger (field operating base) so I have the luxury of the phone and computer. It’s crazy how much everyone takes things for granted (at) home.”
“What I would do to just be able to buy a shampoo bottle without it being covered in dust, it’s whatever though.”
“Last night we took indirect fire, nothing crazy, just one mortar round. Everything is fine so don’t stress it.”
“Michael told his mom he couldn’t wait to get home, especially to smell the scent of clean clothes, and fresh air.”
“I hope you and Matt are great and everything back home is still the same. I miss you guys!”
“He told his mom to say hello to everyone, and that he misses them, too.”
“I don’t want any pictures or cards from home if that’s ok, it makes me home sick.”
“Anyway I love you! and miss you!”
“Love: Michael Metcalf”
One soldier like Metcalf, who was willing to risk it all for his country, is worth a million liberals who are free to be jerks because of people like this young man. Both Trump and Melania paid a heartfelt tribute to the Gold Star families on Monday night. FLOTUS had this to tweet, “Tonight @POTUS & I were honored to pay tribute to our fallen heroes. Thank you to the Gold Star families that joined us in celebration & remembrance.” This graceful observance and honor of our fallen in the military has been missing for eight years while Obama was in the White House. President Trump brought it back and more. The entire nation owes him a debt of gratitude for that. Americans are starved for it. Michael Metcalf will always be remembered, honored and loved.