I wrote this in February of 2014…The project I discuss has never been completed and at some point I will complete it. It has now been 4 years. Every year I will repost this on Memorial Day..
Choose to remember Spc Rudy Acosta as we draw near the 3 year anniversary of his passing for our freedom (At the end of this Blog see how local friends can remember and honor Rudy too).
Truth is I could be writing this about any fallen soldier, in any community. Just like cancer patients, something I am very familiar with, there is a parallel with our fallen soldiers…each and everyone has their own individual journey but the story is in so many ways the same.
Spc Rudy Acosta’s story struck a cord with me when I read about his passing…somehow connecting with my heart and soul. A young man doing what he always wanted to do, serve his country. All I could think of was here is a 19 year old who was willing to give his life so that my 18 & 15 year old’s could pursue their very different dreams. Rudy did not go in expecting to lose his life, but certainly knew the high risk. It gave me pause. If we still had the draft it could have been my son (s). But it wasn’t…it wasn’t because this young man and so many like him (her) choose this as a mission in their life; alleviating the need for a draft in this country. Born in 1960 I am all too familiar with the draft and war.
There is a sad reality to this story that is not discussed much. Spec Rudy Acosta was shot at close range by someone a government contractor hired to work with our troops and he was not alone; Several soldiers in that facility were injured and another lost his life along with Rudy. It is a sad state of affairs when a soldier is shot in a situation that was completely avoidable. Rouge Afghan’s must adhere to the old adage all’s far in love and war. They did what ever they could to infiltrate this base. We don’t expect woman and children to be car/suicide bombers either, but that happens too. As I often say life is wonderful but sometimes so incredibly unjust. I think this qualifies.
Seeing the community come out in force to show this family that this young man did not give his life in vain; That as a community we cared and wanted to support them through this difficult time. The day Spc Rudy Acosta was laid to rest was by all accounts an outpouring of love. Something we can feel very proud of. It would have been so much easier for just the planners and friends and family to be the ones along the route to his final resting place. Yet, school children were led to the sidewalks to honor Rudy along with Veterans and everyday citizen’s all waving flags, showing him the respect he so well deserved. That the family deserved to FEEL!
There is that period of time when a family is overwhelmed with the outpouring of caring from friends and family after a loss. That day comes when people aren’t checking to see if you are ok quite as often; you find yourself alone with your own pain with less and less people taking up the space and time. Pain grows! Let’s continue to hold up this family.
Personally, I wanted to keep the giant hug that the community started alive. I designed a car decal and thought if I could get as many people to put it on their cars as possible the family would be reminded in a positive way that we would never forget the sacrifice of their family for not only our community, but our nation. Every soldier deserves more than one day of honor and Rudy is no exception. I have to say it didn’t work out exactly the way I imagined…I left stacks of them at Oggi’s, who was happy to hand them out, and Santa Clarita Christian where Rudy went to school.
Never making the impact I had hoped or imagined. That was two and a half years ago…I do still see the stickers on cars. Makes me smile I hope the family feels the same.
In October, by chance, I met Dante Acosta, Rudy’s dad. It was my first contact with the family. We are both involved with Circle of Hope and I was raising funds at Vista Valencia as I started doing in October the past two years. Dante came to attend one of the events. A chance meeting that was met with mutual admiration. Dante was as happy to meet the person who had made the car decals as I was to meet a member of Rudy’s family. To personally say Thank You! That’s correct, we did not know each other from Adam. Though as far as I was concerned we were neighbors and that’s all that mattered.
I am about honoring all of the people who have ever served in the military; Honoring Spc Rudy Acosta is a no brain-er. I have an Art Project that the community can get involved in that will have a tangible lasting piece of art the family can enjoy when it is complete. A constant reminder of gratitude and community!
Place: Ken Lewis Taekwondo, 29487 The Old Road and Live Oak in Castaic (661.295.8531)
Dates: March 1st through the 19th (the 19th will be the 3 year anniversary of Rudy’s passing)
Times: Monday –Thursday 5PM till 8PM, Saturday 10AM-11AM
Project: For any donation to the Rudy Acosta Memorial Foundation, starting at $1, place your hand print on a canvas to create a flag when it is done. A Beautiful way to show the Acosta family that we will never forget! Parts of the Flag will have higher donation values.
Please come out and support this project and this family…
I would like to make a statement about the connection between the race for Councilman and this project. There is NONE! This is not a political statement.