Yesterday on the way home from work, I was halfway listening to the news when a report caught my ear saying that a soldier with the last name Castleberry from suburban Austin had been killed in Iraq. I sat up and took instant notice because I know a guy named Jeff Castleberry who lives just outside of Austin and has a son in Iraq. Jeff was in my last play, I Am Alpha, this past February, and he hosted a fantastic cast party at his big hundred year old house. I remember he showed us a picture of him and his son that was taken right before his deployment, and he started to tear up looking at it. That was what I remembered first when I heard the news report, and even though I haven't seen Jeff since the play closed, I got a heavy sinking feeling.
Today, Ash was able to find the obituary for the soldier that died and we figured out that it wasn't Jeff's son. I felt relief at first, but then I felt shitty for feeling that way. After all, even if it wasn't Jeff's son, he was still somebody's son, and there is a family in mourning right now as I type this. Many families in fact, considering that just this week alone, 27 soldiers have died over there, not to mention all the non-American losses.
So Jeff, I hope your boy comes home safe and sound, and to the other Castleberry family and all the others who have lost somebody in this stupid war, I wish you all a measure of peace.