Casualty Assistance Calls Officer. The man who knocks on the doors of loved ones, and tells them that their husband, father, brother or son, wife, mother, sister or daughter is not coming home with the others.
He’ll be coming back alone.
I had to do it once, a long, long time ago and it nearly broke my heart. Major Steve Beck, USMC, has had to do it quite a number of times now, in three states. And even after having read all 12 of the articles in the Rocky Mountain News link below, I cannot quite think how.
When Caroline Cathey drove up, she saw the strange government vehicle, then fixed her eyes on the man in the driver’s seat.
“She saw me; she pulled in,” Capt. Winston Tierney said. “And I hate this, but I think she might have suspected when she saw me. She got out of her vehicle and I told my guys, ‘Time to go…’”
He recounted the conversation from there:
“Please don’t let it be,” she said.
“I’m sorry to have to be here today. Can we go inside and sit down? There are some things we need to confirm.”
“Please tell me it’s not Jimmy, please tell me it’s not my son.”
Occasional reader Dave sent the link along. Read it all, if you can bear it: