Who was the guy in the bag?

I have had another response to the posts “Crying Soldier”  and “What are the odds” This time from a lady called Catherine;

She wrote me that the man in the body-bag, the friend of the crying soldier, was her husband, Spec. Andy Alaniz. They were young, in love, newly married and pregnant when he was killed. Andy never got to see his daughter. As Catherine wrote to me: “As long as people are talking about my husband, he won’t just be the man in the body bag and he won’t be forgotten. Because at our house, he was my friend, my lover and my husband. He is the daddy to our little girl that he never got to see grow up. I don’t want him to be hidden in a bag. He was much more than that!”

4 years after her husband was killed by “friendly fire” (doesn’t anybody react to the bizarreness of this?) Catherine’s father was killed in the Oklahoma bombing. She is truly a widow/orphan of the violence that is all around in the world and she has graciously allowed me to share her story. You can read it on her blog ATA GIRLS.

I am touched that Catherine chose to write to me and share her story. Also I am amazed, as usual, by how the internet can connect people in this random way.

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10 responses to “Who was the guy in the bag?

  1. Wow…I have nothing to say here. This story is touching and awful at the same time. So much sufferings and so much love here…All in all, Catherine is a very strong woman and she is right in one thing – we are not forgotten until we there is someone to remember us. Rest In Peace, Andy. Nd I wish Catherine to become happy one day, she really deserves it!

  2. Andee Alaniz-Simonds

    My mom is Catherine, I’m the daughter he never got to meet, now I’m 21 years old, I’m
    Older than my father was when he died. It’s crazy how much he lives through me, everyone says I look just like him, and I honestly do, I look just like my daddy. I was name after him, my name is Andee and it makes me happy to see that no one is just classifying my dad as a guy in a body bag, but as my moms husband and as my brave father. He’s the reason I’m getting through college and wanting to do something with my life. I love my dad, and even though we never got to meet officially I know that we will eventually.

    • Dear Andee, thank you for sharing your story. Your dad is probably with you every moment of every day, allowing you to feel him in your heart. That is love. I am glad to be part of giving him a name, face and a history. And I am touched that you and your mom share with me.

    • As you can tell, God blessed me with a little bit of Andy to love everyday, even after he died. Our daughter is an amazing young woman and she was my reason for living after Andy was killed. She gave me the strength and determination to get up every morning. Because of Andee, I was able to keep my faith in God despite all the anger I was feeling for him allowing my husband to die.

      Andee is going to college for respiratory therapy and I know God has great plans for her future. She is going to be a blessing to many people!
      I love you to heaven and back Andee. And I know your daddy is VERY proud of the woman you’ve become.

  3. Andy will forever live in the hearts of his friends and family. He was an amazing young man who brought joy & laughter to those who knew him.

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