A Thank You to a Departed Soldier on September 11th

Posted: September 13, 2010 in Uncategorized

As a paranormal investigator, I have seen my share of cemeteries. In fact, I love them– I mean actually love them. I think they are peaceful, beautiful, serene and probably one of my favorite places to just go and think and be at peace. Today, September 11th, I went to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in the Fort Rosecrans Military Base in San Diego.  Out of all the cemeteries I have been too, I have never been to a military cemetery. My husband’s cousin, Sgt Casey James Grochowiak, was killed on August 30, 2010 by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.  I have only met him twice in the 15 years I have been with my husband.  His funeral was today at Fort Rosecrans. I didn’t realize how different Military Cemeteries are from typical, regular cemeteries. I wasn’t ready for it.

Cemeteries, to a lot of people, are sad; but to me, they are not. They are places that the living can go to commemorate the dead. There is happiness and joy when you think about your loved ones and how they were when they were living. The grounds of a civilian cemetery have headstones of all different kinds and beautiful landscaping. When you walk around a civilian cemetery, there are old people, young people and everyone in between buried on the grounds. The same goes with a military cemetery, but the difference is that 90% of those who are buried in a military cemetery gave up their lives to fight for me and my country. Every grave has the same white headstone. There are hundreds of rows of white headstones. An incredible sense of sadness that I have never felt before came over me as I stood in Fort Rosecrans cemetery today. The energy was completely different. There was a heaviness that I have not felt in a civilian cemetery. There was a sense of patriotism and honor. I wanted to go up to every grave and say thank you: Thank you for fighting for our country and for the freedom that we Americans have.

Today I really felt sad. I wasn’t prepared to feel as sad as I did, because I really didn’t know Casey all that well. But it wasn’t Casey the person I was sad for. It was Casey and all the other soldiers in all the other wars that fought and died for my freedom. I also felt extremely thankful; thankful that there are heroes out there like Casey who are willing to fight for my freedom. So to Casey and all the men and women who have fought for and are fighting for my freedom, thank you from this humble and grateful paranormal housewife.

Erin Potter Hayes

  1. I’m so sorry for your loss Erin. I know totally understand what you are talking about. I too adore going to cemeteries and find peace when I go to them. Yet, I’ve only been to one Military cemetery and the feelings that over came me were totally unexpected. I almost felt ashamed to know these men and women died for me and my freedom. I felt so sad to think that we go about our daily life and very rarely give a 2nd thought to these men and women who are faceless to us. Yet, each one is a loved family member and friend to many.

    There is really nothing like a Military funeral though. My brother had one and when the 21 gun salute went off I thought I was going to die myself. My heart just ripped open.

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