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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"My Daddy Was Killed"; Can you help McKinnzie Bewley?

On November 5, 2007, Kevin Bewley made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Petty Officer Bewley died trying to disable an explosive while working in the Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11.

His family has set up a web site to remember Petty Officer Bewley, and also to collect donations for his daughter, McKinnzie. She was born four months premature and suffers from cerebral palsy.

Here are the remarks from his commanding officer at his memorial service:
Over the centuries, there have been those individuals that are identified as different. Alone they are confident and proud, they are intensely loyal and brave. As a band of brothers they are nearly invincible.

We have had many names for this group, they have been called Spartans, they have been called knights, in some cultures they are called braves, but most appropriately they are called warriors. Whatever their moniker, it is to these men that civilization turns when threatened. They are the protectors, they are the saviors and they are the keepers of the peace.

Kevin Bewley was one of them. Kevin Bewley was an American fighting sailor. Kevin Bewley was a warrior.

Among warriors Kevin stood out, not because of his stature or his physique, but because of his character, one built on courage and conviction.

He first entered the service in the National Guard, followed by the United States Navy, where he found his home. As a parachute rigger Kevin was responsible for the safety of hundreds of brothers in arms. He was their final hope for survival if their aircraft failed or their primary parachute did not open. But Kevin soon realized he was unsatisfied so he chose the road less traveled, he chose to become an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. It is while within this warrior elite group that Kevin's character propelled him to success.

An EOD technician's primary goal is to protect life and property, to place himself between the deadly weapons of the enemy and the innocent.

From his first day, Kevin's enthusiasm was without equal. This role was perfectly suited for him. Even as he came to understand the full magnitude of his new career and the enormity of the responsibility, he never faltered.

He trained and supported his teammates with a quiet, focused confidence. His natural curiosity and need to understand how things worked became invaluable traits as he learned the skills to disarm the enemy's deadly devices.

He sought out ways to do his job better with less, knowing that sometimes when performing dangerous tasks in a barren desert some 3,000 miles away, he would need to rely on his wits and ingenuity to survive.

His favorite movie "Alone in the Wilderness" chronicled the life of "Dick" Preneke in the wilds of Alaska. Mr. Preneke used his intellect to overcome incredible odds. Kevin forced his family and teammates to endure this film over and over again and, like the main character, Kevin became driven with mastering his environment. He strove tirelessly to understand every detail of the equipment he used and the problems he would face.

He quickly became the "go to" guy on his team for technical advice. Technically sound, incredibly focused and unwaveringly brave, Kevin was all a warrior could be.

On the day that he was taken from us he did everything correctly. He used his vast knowledge and technical expertise to accomplish his vital mission, to protect innocent civilians and clear the way for his fellow warriors. On that day he was armored by today's finest technology and by the mettle of his outstanding character.

But on that day the enemy got a vote. On that day evil triumphed over good.

The war in which our nation is embroiled is not over. The example that Kevin has set is not lost. He was our brother, a member of a sacred fellowship sworn to defend our constitution. And within that fellowship he was a hero, one of the nation's greatest sons. His courage and character have branded the hearts of each and every one of us.

His mark is burned deep and with each beat of our hearts, we feel Kevin's presence. Because of his courage, we are fortified to continue and we are emboldened to prevail.

From the warriors of EODMU-11, from the EOD community, from the United States Navy and from a grateful nation, Kevin Bewley, we thank you for your friendship and for your brotherhood.

You will not be forgotten.

Kevin was a warrior and a hero who laid down his life protecting our freedoms; it is the least we can do to donate a few bucks to help out his daughter. You can donate on his web site, or you can mail cash or checks to the following address:

Navy Federal Credit Union
275 SE Cabot Dr
Oak Harbor, WA 98277

Make Checks Payable To:
EODMU-11 Memorial Fund ICO Kevin Bewley. Access#4780693

Please keep his family, friends, and fellow sailors in your thoughts and prayers. If you can spare it, send a few dollars McKinnzie's way. As Ed Morrisey observes:
Kevin Bewley gave his life to his country; maybe his country could give some of its attention to his little girl.

Amen, Ed.

Hat Tip: Hot Air