Do you recall his brawny arms effortlessly lifting you off your itty bitty feet, from the soft earth, to what you thought were clouds when you were a toddler? Or maybe, you remember hearing his voice, as he firmly, yet lovingly, gave you advice sometimes repeatedly, during your teenage years. Whether you called him dad, step-dad, Papa or simply pa, you have to admit, father was your first hero.
In May of 2011, a good friend and several members of his team were killed in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It was the most lethal day of the war for American troops since the surge in 2009. 1st Lt. John Runkle and his men were on a mission to interdict and destroy homemade explosive the main ingredient in improvised explosive devices used in Afghanistan. It was supposed to be an easy mission; with very little risk—until it all went terribly wrong.