29 May “Honey, close your eyes and I’m right there with you.”
I received a phone call from my husband and I told him about a reoccurring dream I’d been having. I explained to him it was about soldiers dressed in dress blues, knocking at our door to tell me something had happened to him. Darren said, “Honey, close your eyes and I’m right there with you.” We got disconnected and those were the last words I heard from him. My husband, SFC Darren Linde was killed in Afghanistan on December 3, 2012. Two days before he was killed he called home.
Darren was a career soldier. He was proud to put on his uniform and help shape the lives of his young troops. He especially enjoyed “opening a can of old man whoop ass” during PT tests. He was adored by his troops. Sadly, one of Darren’s soldiers was also killed with him. His name is SPC Tyler Orgaard. He was only 20 years old. Tyler’s family and our family have become extremely close. Every anniversary of their death, both families, and the surviving soldier have a night of good food, good company, and lots of belly laughs.There are so many ways in which Darren reminds us that he’s not that far away.
Although the loss of “my hunk of burnin’ love shook me to my core, our 4 children have weathered our personal Tsunami with grace. We are forever thankful for the lifetime of funny stories. We miss Darren’s constant belly laugh. He was a good man and is missed by many.
Since becoming a member of the Gold Star Family, our lives have been touched by many incredible and loving people. I’m convinced that Darren hand picked and placed people in our path to help us trudge through our profound grief.
Our grand babies were photographed holding “Grampy Bear.” The bears are made from Darren’s uniform. Each of our kids was also given a flag at Darren’s funeral.
Our son SPC Eric Linde was photographed standing next to his father’s name on the Memorial Wall for Fallen Engineers in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Eric is now a Combat Engineer just like his Dad and a member of the very same unit.
Since Darren’s death, we have gained two son-in-laws and seven grand babies. I have also been blessed to find love again. I am very happily engaged to an incredible man who is thrilled to be called “Papa” by all the grand kids.
The Darren Linde Memorial Scholarship was chosen by the Dog Tag Brewing Foundation as a new 2017 grantee. I’m thrilled that Darren’s Scholarship Memorial has been chosen by the Dog Tag Brewing Foundation. Dog Tag Brewing is an amazing company that has found an ingenious way to celebrate and honor brave men and women that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We feel blessed to continue his legacy and honor his wonderful life.
Bismarck, North Dakota