A True All-American

Today I had an experience I hope I never have to repeat, and yet one that has left me so much richer in mind and spirit that I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

On an island in the middle of Puget Sound between Seattle and Tacoma, the community of Vashon came together to lay to rest an amazing young man who’s bright future was cut tragically short by the war in Afghanistan. Regrettably, this is not the first such memorial I’ve attended recently, and likely not the last. I doubt any will leave such a lasting impression as today.

In his brief 25 years of life, Robert Bennedsen, a 2004 graduate of Vashon High School in Washington State, left several lifetimes full of wonderful memories for his family, friends, and an entire community, to cherish. Robert was a high school wrestler and football star who set many school and state records; a volunteer at the local fire department; a mountain climber; a scuba diver; an avid fisherman and boater; a classic car enthusiast; a 2008 honor graduate from Seattle University with a full Army ROTC scholarship. He was all of these things and so much more. And he was a Soldier, a leader, a 2d Dragoon.

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