A Mother's Reflection

Sergeant_Michael_Kirspel_Jr._3(1)_WebThe Hopatcong community offers our “Love and Gratitude” to Dawn Roberts, our “Gold Star Mother", and her entire family. Dawn’s family endured a devastating loss that changed their lives forever when her son, Sgt. Michael Kirspel Jr., was Killed in Action, in Afghanistan, on October 27, 2010. Dawn’s love for Michael and dedication to his legacy inspires all of us.

My son, Sergeant Michael D. Kirspel Jr. was offered the opportunity to leave Afghanistan and come home to Fort Drum where he could train soldiers. His response was simple, “he would return home when his men returned home.” Even though Michael knew the dangers, knew he could be killed, he was committed to the men that were in his care.

A few years later, I sat down and opened a notebook that I found among Michael’s belongings. Written across the top of the page was a commitment that he had made to himself. It said that he would never leave a man behind no matter what might happen to his body or to his life. Next to that declaration, he wrote a verse from Scripture, Ephesians 6: 10-11, “Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be better able to stand your ground.” Michael was a Christian and his belief in the promises of Jesus Christ gave him the strength and courage to lay his life down for another.

Through the loss of my son, I learned about the beauty of his faith and the loyalty that he had to his fellow soldiers. Even in the war zone, Michael put others before himself and testified to the goodness of the Lord. The bond that formed between Michael and his men will never be broken. They shared a brotherhood in a “moment of time” that changed their lives forever. Now, every year, the soldiers in his division travel to Hopatcong to spend time with me as we celebrate Michael’s service and honor Michael’s sacrifice.