Sheriff’s deputy trades in his badge for a tour in Iraq
|Photo by Shonna Riggs|
Chris Beard gets good-bye kiss from dad, George.
Beard left Luling May 23 on his way to Camp LeJeune, North Carolina to begin military training in preparation for a seven-month tour of duty on what the Bush administration calls “the front lines of the war on terror.”
“When the Good Lord is ready to take my life, he’s going to take my life no matter where I am, and I’m proud to serve my country,” Chris Beard told his mom, Kendra just hours before departing Luling.
“So don’t worry about me, I’m in God’s hands,” he said.
“That’s the kind of man Chris is, compassionate, caring and a public servant,” Kendra said.
“When he puts on his police uniform he transforms into a police officer,” she continued.
“And when he puts on his Marine Corps uniform he becomes a soldier and the entire family is very proud of him.”
Chris was notified in January during his once a month training drills with the reserves in Belle Chase, that his unit would transform into active duty status and everyone would be going to fight in the war.
“My prayers are with all of the mothers and fathers whose children are in this situation,” Kendra, told the Herald-Guide.
“My son has been in the reserves for six years, and we understand his commitment to his country, but we are still shocked and scared about everything,” she continued.
Before Chris left his family, Kendra was able to pass on a gift to him, a symbol of protection to keep him safe.
“Chris’ great-grandmother who he never knew placed a silver chain around his grandfather’s neck, when he left for World War II,” Kendra said.
“My daddy wore the necklace until the day he died, and I placed that necklace with the same St. Christopher medal, on it around my son’s neck, because he is the patron saint of protection,” she continued.
“Chris wears it everyday.”
Kendra relies on her faith to keep her strong, but at times when she needs extra support she turns to an Internet site called www.marinemomsonline.com.
“This web site is full of people who have loved ones serving overseas in the war,” Kendra said.
“We need to lean on each other especially in times like these when everything going on in the war is uncertain,” she continued.
Chris told his mother that he left home standing and he’ll return home standing.
“A lot of times your children come back from the war and they ‘ve been injured, but Chris made his family a promise that he would make it back home safe,” Kendra said. “We believe he will.”
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