Letter: The good fight
"You have fought the good fight. You have finished the course. You have kept the faith." Those words stood out as Bucky Burruss paid tribute to his brother Tommy during his recent funeral. As "Taps" played and the soldiers presented Joanne with the flag, tears flowed freely.
All funerals have sadness, but it is something about honoring our veterans that stands out the most. The flag-draped coffin brought back memories of Dad and my uncles of "The Greatest Generation" who served their country and did great things on earth.
Tommy also did great things on earth that few people realized. He ridded himself of his personal demons and, with the help of family, friends and his wife Joanne, became a changed man. He established drug and alcohol abuse programs in church, his diocese and in our local and regional jails. He helped countless people during that time. He certainly "gave back" to his community.
The courage shown by Tommy while battling cancer was certainly an inspiration to Mary and me, along with many others. As Bucky stated during his eulogy, "Tommy suffered with dignity, he lived with dignity and he died with dignity."
Tommy did "fight the good fight" and will be missed.