A Heroic Tragedy | My Family Travels
Alfonso Molinar Resting Place, Arlington, Virginia

The day was March 31, 2014 and all I heard was crying, screaming, and harsh stomping as the noise quickly filled my ears. I rushed towards the horrific news that my twenty eight year old brother Alfonso J. Molinar had passed away. My mother was the one screaming as she pressed the phone to her ear. Tears drenched down her cold and pale face, while her eyes overfilled with redness. The horrible notice came from my sister in law Lee.

This situation is what lead to my unexpected flight and journey to see my dead brother’s presence in North Carolina. Alfonso was US Army 82nd Airborne 3 Group Special Forces which led to him being stationed in Fort Bragg NC after being raised in California.

After a few days I realized I was flying back to NC for I have traveled there twice before as a vacation to see my brother Alfonso and his fiancé Lee. Once my family and I arrived at the airport, we were thankfully helped by the USO. In many ways they helped us, by catching our flight and by supporting us through the tragedy. Finally, the plane was ready to take off and while the passengers waited, the pilot announced that there was a family on board to go see the body of a soldier that served our country for 12 years.

Next, after a few days in NC it is the day to see my brother Alfonso. I wanted to make sure that I looked special and beautiful when he saw me. Finally, its time. Alfonso was prepared and decent enough to accept visitors. As I walk in the room I see family, soldiers, and close friends all gathered making the room feel like a tight space to enter into. I remember walking slowly in my black dress as it flowed to each of my footsteps. I saw an American flag draped over an open wooden casket. I could only see the tip of my brother Alfonso’s brown nose and a sudden rush filled me inside. Then, I was standing before him.

Now to make this situation clear, I never really cried over this journey for I had to be strong for my mother since she was very weak, while I was still numb and confused. Although, when I saw him my heart just poured out. I cried a cry that I have never cried before because it felt like a long scream at the same time. I could feel the presence of everyone behind me watching my every move. Alfonso was wearing his Army uniform which was filled with each and every badge that he deserved and was awarded. His hands were placed together. Faintly I touched his chest and moved my hand swiftly towards his hands. Accidentally I touched his hands which made me cry even more because they were so cold. My older brother Ruben came and stood to my left while Lee’s best friend Dre arrived at my right.

Then I walked away and sat on an available couch that my mother was sitting on. As everyone was finished seeing him the speeches began. Everyone was telling stories of how strong, mature, respectful, friendly, and brave he was. Being his sister I felt as though God was telling me to go up and say something even if was the smallest sentence to say for I had not prepared anything. I knew if I didn’t say anything I would have regretted and so I walked up before Alfonso and spoke.

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