|National Guard member Joseph Brito staged a one-man vigil|
to honor the 30 troops killed in Afghanistan on Saturday
(image by Thomas Wasper)
As Brito explained, “I had to do something. I couldn’t sit at home and not be able to show people that Americans care. At least, I hope they care; maybe they don’t know this happened.”
Brito is a staff sergeant in the Guard whose wife served in Iraq and whose brother and sister served in Afghanistan. He himself served in Kosovo and is preparing to deploy again to Afghanistan.
“I just felt sorrow for the families of those soldiers, and I felt sorrow within myself. As someone who has served, I know that they wake up each day and they know they may not return to the same bed that night, that they may not survive," Brito says.
He went on to add, “I just felt it was right to honor them by standing here with my flag respecting their sacrifice.”
The sentiment was shared by many passersby, some of whom honked their horns as they drove by, stopped to thank Brito, and even joined his vigil. Pretty soon, an estimated twenty others stood alongside him, holding their own flags and signs.
When his wife, Isabel, got off work at 6 p.m., she also joined him, saying, “He had called me and told me his heart was telling him to come here and wave his flag, and I said, ‘If that is what your heart is telling you to do, then go for it.’ ”
The incident on Saturday that took the lives of Navy SEALs, seven Afghan commandos and an interpreter is being described as the deadliest to have occurred in the Afghanistan War (via the Los Angeles Times).
Visit the AlisoViejoPatch for more of Brito's interview and pictures.