Wow! What a fun night! I keep thinking that I wish you were there, but I am certain you were, since all of your favorite people attended to honor you! These things remind me how loved you are, and at the same time I’m feeling a bit of anxiety. My anxiety come because these celebrations will soon come to an end. What happens when they do? Will you be forgotten? Will people still remember and honor you? Logically, I know many of us will never forget that you lived and that your life improved ours. Emotionally, I worry because I am your mom and that’s my job. I remember the day I became a mother, your grandpa kissed me and said, “Congratulations. Now you get to worry for the rest of your life.” No truer words have been spoken, but I need to remember that I no longer have to worry about you. These adjustments in my role as your parent are so difficult to make. Not worry about you? My most precious child?

When they brought us down on the floor at the game, I was a bit nervous to stand in front of all these people. To honor you, the boy I brought into this world. It was overwhelming! The announcer then said these words:

“Ladies and gentlemen. Please hold your applause for a moment. The Denver Nuggets are proud to honor a very special family tonight. We’d like to welcome the family of Private First Class Jacob Wykstra. Jacob Henry Wykstra was a Colorado native raised right here in Thornton, Colorado. He was fortunate to be stationed in the state he loved so much, serving at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. PFC Wykstra was and infantryman assigned to the first Battalion, 12th infantry regiment, 4th brigade combat team, 4th infantry division. Last May, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, Jacob was killed in an unfortunate helicopter accident. The Denver Nuggets would like to honor Jacob and his family tonight, so please help us welcome Jake’s mother and father along with his sister and wife. Also joining us is some of Jacob’s unit from Ft. Carson. Ladies and gentlemen, there is no greater love than for a man to lay down his life for a friend. FREEDOM IS NOT FREE! We appreciate your son so much, we appreciate your sacrifice and we appreciate you!”

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We had many commanders and high rank come by to visit us, your nieces ran all over the suite and had such a great time, your buddies came by to meet us and to talk about you. The only thing missing was you. You will always be missed and loved so much!

the guys