It’s an old news story.  It’s also a news story that gets repeated every week across our country.

James Cathey was a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marines.  Leading a group in Iraq, he was killed in an explosion while investigating a booby-trapped building.

You can read Jim Sheeler’s beautifully-written 12-part story from the Rocky Mountain News here.  Detailing the important work of casualty officers and the difficult moment of a death notification, the article also provides a glimpse into the grief process for military families.

I dare you to read it without crying like a baby.  Especially moving is the description of the last night Lt. Cathey’s pregnant wife spent with him – at the funeral home. 

Photo by Todd Heisler The Rocky Mountain News

Excerpt from The Rocky Mountain News: 

Inside the mortuary the night before Cathey’s funeral, two Marines stood near the casket, unfurling sheets on a makeshift bed.

“Make it look nice, dude, make it look nice,” one of them said.

“Who are you, Martha Stewart?” the other shot back with a grin.

Another looked at the blanket.

“If you’re pregnant, do you get hot or cold?”

One of the Marines who has a child of his own looked at the bed.

“She’s going to need another pillow,” he said. “Since she’s pregnant, she’ll need to put a pillow between her legs.”

Follow this link to the full story.