Sunday, August 14, 2005

Kevin, I salute you

During my stay in Florida, I had the great privilege of getting to know Lance Corporal Kevin Waruinge, a member of our small tightly-knit group of Kenyan students. Kevin had already served one tour of duty in Iraq in 2003 before enrolling in college the same semester that I enrolled in seminary. As it turned out, my final semester was his final one too; I graduated and moved back to California, while Kevin volunteered to return to Iraq on a second tour of duty. Kevin worked as a mechanic on amphibious assault vehicles. He was attached to the Marine Corps Reserve's 4th Assault Amphibian Battalion, 4th Marine Division. He was among 14 troops and a civilian interpreter killed Aug. 3 when a roadside bomb exploded near the city of Haditha. It was one of the deadliest single attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq.

Kevin was the same age as my sister (born within 2 days of each other). He grew up in Nairobi, Kenya, just like I did, and moved to the US with his family the same year that I moved. He died as an American hero, sacrificing his life for his adopted country. He had highlighted the following verses in his King James Bible:

Philippians 2:13-15 says: "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of (his) good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world."

What a testimony! Till we meet again on the other shore, well done Kevin, I salute you.