Men in uniform have always had a place in my heart, no, not since Top Gun, they were not wearing uniforms in the volleyball scene. It is the sacrifice and service that they and there family give. Men in uniform, and women I suppose to men, I do not know, have that appeal like no other. Today’s Finding the Good story though heart wrenching, reminded me again of the sacrifices and the appeal of those in uniform.
Quoting from the Deseret News about Andrew Ashcroft, killed with 18 of his fellow fire figthers last month near Yarnell, Arizona.
“About six months ago Andrew was in charge of our family home evening,” she said, referring to a common practice among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to gather weekly as a family to strengthen faith and family bonds through scripture study, games, treats and prayer. “His lesson was aimed at our children (ages 6 and younger) about how we all need to be good so we can be together as a family forever. As part of the lesson he got us all these white rubber wristbands. He said they would remind us to be good, so we called them our ‘Be Good bracelets.’
“The kids and I wore ours for a few days, but then we took them off and only wore them once in a while,” she continued. “But Andrew promised me that he would wear his until it fell off his wrist — because it was so worn out — or until the day he died. To him, it was a symbol of his commitment to me and to our family and that it was forever. So he wore it all the time, and he told me he looked at it a lot. It reminded him of us, and it made him want to be a better man.”
Juliann said she had no expectation that Andrew’s “Be Good bracelet” would survive the fire. “It was just a cheap thing,” she said, “and it was made of rubber — not exactly fire resistant.”
But when she saw it among Andrew’s effects — one of only a handful of items to make it through the blaze intact — she said she was overwhelmed by what she called a “tender mercy.”
“It was a miracle that it survived the heat and flames,” she said. “I just see it as a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. Andrew made me a promise, and he kept it. And God wanted us to know that he kept it.”
“He was a good man,” Juliann said simply, powerfully. “A lot of us claim to be the things that we are only aspiring to be. We go through the motions, but it’s not really inside us. Andrew was just good. He wasn’t perfect — no one is. But he didn’t pretend to be good; he was good.”