Sometimes the most impactful things happen in our lives when we least expect them. These situations make us reflect on our lives and make us appreciate and honor those who have given their lives for us.
Mike Helms was on a plane when it stopped in Oklahoma City. Before he left the plane, he looked around and noticed that everyone else on the flight was crying. When he realized the reason why he went to social media to share this story. It led to so many tears across the internet and this story will make you cry as well.
Brooke Newton (inset), image for the purpose of visual representation (background) (Photo Credit: Brooke Newton/Facebook, Pexels)
“My plane landed in Oklahoma City last night,” Mike Helms wrote on Facebook. “When we stopped at the terminal, the pilot announced that he would like to inform us that we were flying one of our fallen soldiers, Brooke Newton, home to her family. He asked that we remain on the plane until our soldier was removed from the plane first. He also asked that we give a moment of silence.”
“As we sat there waiting, I decided to look out the window and this is what I saw,” Helms captioned a heartbreaking photograph of Newton’s casket being removed from the plane. “A mother and father hysterically crying on their fallen soldier’s casket. Standing off to the side were soldiers from her unit saluting their fallen soldier,” he wrote.
“This moment hit me hard for some reason,” admitted Helms. “I couldn’t hold back tears. As I looked around the plane, I was hoping nobody would see my moment of weakness, but to my surprise, damn near everyone on the plane was crying. … The plane was filled with people of all races and religions. It was amazing to see everyone on that plane pay tribute to this woman and her family,” he added. “I saw no division on that plane last night. I saw Americans paying respect to their countryman. A woman who put her life on the line for me, and you, and your freedoms.”
A casket carrying the remains of fallen soldier Brooke Newton is removed from a plane. (Photo Credit: Mike Helms/Facebook)
According to an online obituary for the fallen soldier, “Brooke Raelynn Newton, 25, passed away August 30, 2017 in San Diego, Calif. She was born April 17, 1992 at Tinker Air Force Base to Billy Newton and Misty Garrett. She graduated from Edmond Santa Fe High School in 2010. She began her military service in high school by joining the Air National Guard. Brooke attended the University of Central Oklahoma and then joined the Navy. She was stationed at Coronado Naval Base and traveled to many different ports of call. She was proud to serve her country and treasured the friendships she had with her fellow shipmates.”
“Brooke was a lover of oldies music, a friend to all animals, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, a proud Veteran, and an Oklahoma girl,” the obituary goes on. “As a young child she accepted Christ as her savior and she was continually growing in her faith. She loved spending time with family and friends, fishing with her PaPa, attending concerts, reading, and anything that made her laugh.”
In addition to her grieving family members who will always “cherish her memory,” Brooke leaves behind “friends and sailors all over the world,” according to EdmondSun.com. She is to be buried at Newcastle Memorial Gardens on Friday after a 1 p.m. service at Woodland Hills Baptist Church in Newcastle, Oklahoma. Her family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Northcare Community Mental Health Center or the Central Oklahoma Humane Society.
The picture that Mike Helms posted on Facebook is a sobering reminder of the cost our freedoms require. Freedom of speech, religion, and the press come at a heavy price. We ought not to take these things for granted because brave men and women have laid down their lives for them. We offer our most sincere gratitude to Brooke Newton for her selfless service and our deepest condolences to her family.
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