This Memorial Page Established by-Paul Murphy
In Honor Of SGT Raymond C. Alcaraz Jr
On Aug 31st 2010 at 12pm, our lives changed forever. On this day, the Army came knocking
on my door. And I hated the sight of them as I knew that my worst fears came true, Before
they said a word, I fell on my knees and cried. “Not little Raymond”. “Not our smiling young
soldier who was having the time of his life In the Army”. But in the end, it is not the Army I
hated. It was my fears of losing Raymond that I hated the most.
But then I cried out to God, and asked for strength. The first thing Alma and I did was pray,
and then prayed some more until we couldn’t find any more words. We had this comfort come
over us, from the Lord saying” It’s ok..he is my son, I have brought him home and he is safe.”
No more pain, no more sorrow of this world.
This is where our strength lies, In the Lord Jesus and his grace he has upon us. He knows
our pain, as he also died for us. But he did not stay dead. He rose again and is alive. Just Like
Raymond. Raymond is not dead. He is alive, he is singing and dancing with the Angels who
have welcomed him home. And Raymond is telling all of us “That it is ok…I am with The
Angels of the Lord”. What else can you say then. Ray has finished his race, fought the good
fight. He is making everyone laugh in Heaven laugh right now, making jokes and showing off
his new perfect body and smile. A smile that was so bright here on earth, can you imagine
when we see him again how bright it will be…
As a parent, you want to bottle up your child in an air tight seal and keep them at the precious
age forever. For me.. it was 10 years old. You love this age because by the time they turn 13,
they want nothing to do with you, its not cool to be around mom and dad. They would rather
be around their friends. You hate that part.. Then they graduate high school and you say your
job as a parent is over...it is done. But it is not done. You want to have your son always ask
you for advice, ask you for help. As they go into the world, you know the heart aches they will
feel…the broken heart or a relationship that didn’t last or the disappointment of job loss. We
don’t want our kids to ever feel the pain we have endured. But we also know they have to
make their own choices. And Raymond made a choice to join the Army, to be with his
brother. He knew the challenges and risks involved. And so did we.
When Raymond graduated from one school to the next in his first year In the Army, Alma
and I flew to all parts of the country to see this young boy mature into a man. Our proudest
moment was seeing him make his final jump to become Airborne. A sky soldier of the 173rd
Airborne Brigade.. just like his brother. He was so proud of himself and to the smile on his
face when he us saw filming him complete that final jump gave me goose bumps. I could not
believe our little Raymond just jumped out of a perfectly good plane and was smiling about it.
Then just like that, Raymond was off to Germany to join his unit. Then he made that final call
home before heading to Afghanistan in May 2008. When we found out he was on Bagram
airbase.. where he wouldn’t be where his brother was In the hills fighting the enemy
everyday, we were relieved. But on July 13th, 2008 we heard Lucas platoon was over run by
the enemy, and 9 soldiers were killed and 27 injured. We had no word for several days but
then, word that Lucas was coming home. Alive, but escorting his best friend home who was
killed. That changed us and Lucas as we knew the heartache and pain was going to be deep.
But we were also grateful for Lucas coming home.
Raymond was so worried but once he found out Lucas was ok..they met in Bagram air base
and spent 7 hours together. Here in a lonely country half way around the world together,
brothers comforting each other. Never in his dreams did Lucas think his little brother would
be in combat with him 11 years after he joined the army
And Never would we think 2 years later, our medic, our soldier who was saving Afghan
children lives and fellow soldiers lives, would be taken from us in an instant. Raymond had 43
days till heading back to Germany. Then 8 more months till he got out and to live out his
dream to be a fire fighter. He called us just a week before, wanting us to help him by a short
sale home when he gets out next year. We saw a man coming into his own.
But none of that will come to be…as Ray is home with his Father in heaven in his glory. And
one day Raymond, in a blink of an eye, we will be there and you will welcome us home too.
Thank you for the years you gave us on this earth, but it is eternity I look forward to when we
see each again.
November 3, 2010
Ray we miss you and wish you a happy 21st B day.....today we will celebrate your b day and
never forget our smiley friend
October 17, 2010
In Honor Of Sgt Raymond C Alcaraz
I am so sorry to hear of your family's loss. I know there are no words to say at this time
except to let you know the thoughts of many are with you in this time of sorrow. May our
Father give you comfort and peace in the years to come.
|Sgt. Raymond C. Alcaraz
United States Army
KIA 31 August 2010, Afghanistan