"I was on a commercial flight yesterday, heading back from a visit to Atlanta, when the captain announced that the plane was transporting the body of a slain serviceman. I was sitting at the back of the plane, so when we finally arrived at LaGuardia, I had to wait several minutes for my turn to exit. When I finally stood up from my seat, the scene was surreal. The entire left side of the plane was empty. But everyone on the right side of the plane was still in their seats-- faces pressed against the window. I walked past thirty rows of seats before I finally found an open window, and could see what everyone was looking at. The soldier's name was Ibraham Torres. UPDATE: I'd encourage everyone to look at the top comment from Ibraham's friend."Ibraham was born in Mexico. He immigrated to New York with his mother, with whom I worked with for six years. His life is among the thousands that inspire and motivate my interest and work regarding immigration (along with ICA-related immigration, including my own).
I last saw him with his son at that job just before I left for Korea. I'm not a fan of the "all soldiers are heroes" meme that came about after the Vietnam War era vets were so badly mistreated. Here in Korea nearly all men must do military service, and a lot of them would've loved to have gotten pardoned from that duty. So, to me Ibraham was much more than a soldier. He was his mother's baby, his baby's father, his little sisters' brother, and of course his father's son. For those reasons he should be honored. That he was a soldier is important, but a fact beside the main point.
Ibraham Torres 1988-2013