1st Sgt. Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo
59 years old from Spanaway, Washington
August 18, 2009
You can read Sgt. Crisostomo’s story here and here.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham (R) recently returned from his trip to Afghanistan as a reservist. And during his stay he had a moving encounter with the now-deceased U.S. Army Sergeant Jose S.N. Crisostomo, originally from Inarajan. While on duty “Colonel Graham” was fortunate enough to spend time with Sergeant Crisostomo prior to his final mission.According to GreenvilleOnline.com, Graham’s stirring experience with Crisostomo has led him to “ask President Barack Obama to send more troops and resources tied to requirements that the Afghan government…clean up ‘rampant’ corruption.” There is no doubt that Cristomo’s warm personality touched Graham with a sense of sincere sentimentality. Clearly, ratcheting up the amount of resources to Afghanistan will speed up the push for Afghans to better govern themselves and thereby help protect treasures like Crisostomo.
Crisostomo’s disarming personality also affected Afghans, who “packed the memorial service for the man who was known for leading morning physical training by carrying an American flag as he ran around the track and always called the Afghans ‘brother’ and ‘sister,’” Graham told Greenville Online. For any other soldier this kind of attendance may have come as a surprise, but not for Crisostomo. This remarkable individual possessed an innate gift that allowed him to connect with people across cultural lines under the most proscribing conditions.
Whatever fueled Crisostomo’s contagious ability to bring people together was not quelled by four tours in Vietnam, nor even by the improvised explosive device that took Crisostomo from us on August 18, 2009, because his spirit lives on through the inspired actions of Senator Lindsey Graham. The silver lining in this story is that if Crisostomo and Graham had not crossed paths Graham may not have been as inspired to push a request for more troops and resources to bolster what evidently appears to be a protracted venture in Afghanistan.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
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