Disclaimer: JE owns them. I do not. Songfic based on "Somebody's Someone" by Lonestar. This is dedicated to all the men and women who fight for our freedom. Thank you.
Stephanie was in the kitchen heating up the dinner Ella had left in the refrigerator. Mateo and Ranger were in the living room, watching the news and playing with Mateo's little toy soldiers.
"Papa, did you know him? Was he your friend?"
Stephanie went to the doorway to watch her husband and their six-year-old son.
"No, mi hijo, I didn't know him."
Ranger glanced up at the television to see more of the report of the latest American soldier killed in Iraq. It was always hard to hear of a good soldier being killed in action, but since Mateo's birth, these stories were even more rough.
"Why you cryin'?" Mateo's little innocent voice wondered.
Stephanie listened as Ranger tried to explain in terms their little boy could understand why the soldier's death was sad and important.
"You know your uncles and I were soldiers before you were born, right?" When Mateo nodded, Ranger continued, "I may not have known this man, but someone did. He had a mommy and a daddy, just like you. He may have even had a wife and children. That man wanted to help make this country a safe place for people like you, Mommy, and me. He died fighting the bad guys."
"We didn't know him. Why would he wanna help us?" Mateo questioned.
"No, we didn't know him. We only know his picture on the TV. He wanted to help us and protect us because he was a good man. He was a hero—someone to be remembered."
Stephanie moved quietly into the living room and stood behind the chair Ranger and Mateo were sitting in. She put her hand on Ranger's shoulder and smiled when he looked back at her.
"Mateo, your daddy and uncles are heroes, too. They fought to keep us safe for years. Never forget that, buddy."
Ranger felt a little piece of his bleak memories soften when his son looked up into his eyes and nodded.
"I know. Daddy will always be my hero."
With one hand on his son's and the other covering his Babe's on his shoulder, peace enveloped Ranger.
Thank you, he said silently to the soldier's picture on the TV. Thank you for helping keep my family safe.