Even as the parent of a deployed soldier, I couldn't begin to understand the level of grief that they're feeling...
The video is poorly made, and it's difficult to understand the reporters' questions...but there is no mistaking the family's grief nor their pride for their son and his sacrifice.
The family goes on to to describe Tucker as a typical, spirited young man, not without his routine teenage rebellious difficulties; but also a young man that began to appreciate the importance of family, and who asked for a "purpose in life".
Below are transcripts of some of the interview:
Mother: "I said, "But Tom, this is the Army, during wartime!" "He wanted to go. There was no talking him out of it. He went in the end of June for his testing and like 14 days later he was gone."
"He said, "I want to feel respected, and I want to feel like I'm doing something for myself and my country; and I want my life to have meant something."
"As a mom, I of course tried to talk him out of it...but when we went to graduation at his boot camp, they gave him a pin for signing up during war time, and he was so proud of that, and he said, "Mom, not everybody's gonna get a pin like that!"
Dad: "Our main thing is that we wanted to thank the community. "Our son's gone, and we're very very proud of him; at the same time we're almost as proud of this community--for the outpouring of the gifts, the food, the money, the show of appreciation."
Reporter: "You seem to be really proud Americans...if that makes any sense, and you--you're proud of everything that Tom's done...and... uh.. and what this country means to you guys.." and... you know... I mean... "Do you feel that way?"
Dad: (pointing to American Flag) "Yes we feel that way!"
Mom: "Yes--when I see the flag--and I"
Dad: "Take a look at the flags around us--when you walk down the street you'd break down crying--even before we knew about Tom--Because of the people that have died; that's our country--because of the lives that were lost--to keep that flag up there--uhh--believe it or not I'm getting too old, I can't go--but there's young men out there dying to keep that flag flying..It doesn't mean that we always agree with all the political nonsense that goes on. Uhh the people that are fighting for us--they're not politicians. They are pawns of the politicians--and they are fighting and dying to keep that flag flying. And before Tom was killed, it started sinking home--and yes we're proud to be Americans."
Sister: "I am very proud of him.. I have a few friends that are down there...and I've been proud and I'll stay proud--they fought along with my brother, and like my dad said I may not particularly agree with or understand the political...where--why the war got started or--but they're down there. And I'm going to continue supporting them."
Mother: "I was so amazed when they told us that basically the war was "held up" because 8,000 soldiers were out looking for my son...and they said they weren't gonna-- (weren't gonna stop) weren't gonna stop until they found him...(sister--no matter how many of them were injured)--"and there were some injured, some killed. And my heart goes out to those mothers--whose families-- they're--they're there for a reason. And, being a mother, it's hard to agree..But I would stand up for that-what he believed in--what we taught him to believe in-- You know, we told everyone that I said if they called me--tomorrow--to go to Iraq--I would go! I know I wanted to go when Tom went but they told me I was too old (laughs).. but-- I would go tomorrow--I would still go tomorrow--even though he's not there."
Reporter: Are you angry?
Mom: "Yes---I'm angry--I'm angry because he was only 25. I'm definitely angry and I know it's probably going to get worse before it gets better. But I just don't know who to be-- I mean I'm angry at the people who did this to him--but I can't--I can't-- there's nobody here I can take my anger out on--that's frustrating-- so yeah--I'm darn angry!"
A sincere thank you to the Tucker family, who have made the supreme sacrifice in the cause of freedom.
Blackfive has an address where you can send condolence cards via Soldier's Angels.
(h/t to one of our readers, Sid)