We all lost someone special yesterday but only a few noticed.
In our 24/7/365 news junkie overdrive cycle it was not noticed that we lost a great Patriot on Tuesday April 1st. There was nothing on the news about the passing of this great American. His death was not part of a casualty count or spectacular enough for the mainstream media to pick up. He blended in so quietly we barely noticed him when he was alive much less his passing.
We donít use the term Patriot anymore. Thatís a ĎJohn Adamsí old-fashioned term. Someone might be described as loyal or committed but not a patriot. Smacks of some sort of extremism.
Air Force Major Kevin Wilkins was Patriot. He was an extremist. He was extremely faithful. Extremely friendly. Extremely dedicated to his faith, his Country, his family, and his occupation. Often times we donít notice people like this because they are quiet and unassuming and not attention-seeking. They look like theyíre just doing their job but Major Wilkins; Kevin, to most of us, was doing much more than his job.
For twenty years he quietly prepared himself to be ready when his country needed him. He was an EMT/Paramedic/Firefighter who became a nurse. He honed his skills to become a talented ER/Intensive Care nurse. He quietly worked behind the scenes in an unnoticed role as an Air Force Reservist waiting for the call. When the Air Force developed the highly technical Critical Care Air Transport Team he quietly signed up. He didnít get a tattoo or an award to join these elite courageous medics. He just blended in. He was so talented he just blended in with the best of the best.
He volunteered for two tours in Iraq and quietly worked his ass off for our injured troops. He left family to serve and when he returned he just blended in again. He took care of people as an emergency room nurse in a Central Florida hospital. His patients didnít know they were being cared for by a hero. He even came to work last week when he was suffering from the ravages of a brain tumor. He was alive and working last week, barely noticed, doing his job like always and now heís gone.
He left us in his own quiet unassuming way. Surrounded by family, friends and co-workers. All grieving because they knew what we lost.
A great man. A wonderful husband, father and grandfather. A talented nurse. A disciplined Air Force officer.
We all lost a great patriot yesterday even though the media didnít notice.