Last week America lost one of the few good men. CTTC (SW) Christian Michael Pike lost his life fighting for our country. He leaves behind many friends and family members who will miss him deeply.
Chief Pike was in Afghanistan with the Seal team conducting counter-terrorism operations and jamming IEDs to stabilize the region and, in turn, keeping America safe.
He sustained serious injuries from a fire fight in the Maiwand District. He died in Germany with his mother and girlfriend by his side.
Justin met Pike while on board the USS Cleveland. We are making the trip to Arizona to attend his funeral service. There are many others like us from all across the country who are making the same journey to say goodbye one last time. I had hesitations about going because I am not really the rock in the family and keeping it together during a funeral is not my forte. I want to be there for Justin. I know he has some regrets about not being able to hang out with Pike before he left on deployment.
It’s always sad to hear about a life lost in this war, but it hits home even more so when it is someone you know. I’ve met Pike a handful of times, but he’s the type of person you only need to meet once to know how genuine he is. He’s a guy that you could instantly like. He was bald, big, and muscular; you’d think he would be scary. Nope, he was the nicest guy you’d meet.
After losing a good friend, Justin views a lot of things differently now. Saying goodbye will always be different for him and me alike. Deployments will be harder for us. Life is fleeting and you never know when it’s going to be your time. Every soldier who lost his life from now on will have a face… It will be Pikes. Each military casket with the American flag draped ever so carefully over the top will remind us of Pike’s biggest sacrifice.
I know the service will be very emotional and overwhelming. In some ways, I can picture Justin in Pike’s place. In fact, it can be any service member’s time. Being in any branch of the military brings with it a certain risk factor. The sacrifices these brave men and women make is astounding. Leaving family and friends for months at a time, getting paid nothing close to what they deserve, and getting little to no recognition for the great things they do.
America has become numb to this war and anything the military is doing. No one cares anymore. They figure, things are okay here state-side so why should I care. People like Pike need to be talked about and remembered. People like him are fighting for us. One man representing a whole country. Why can’t our whole country be there for him, represent him, honor him. It shouldn’t just be the family members and friends who make the ripple. We, as a country, need to take the time to honor the lives of these brave service members who made the greatest sacrifice of all. Those who made a difference everyday and give their lives to make America safer.
Stay current, everyone. Please take a moment to pay your respects to a man who will always be remembered and never forgotten.
RIP CTTC (SW) Christian Michael Pike
Fair winds and following seas, thank you for your sacrifice.