I got an email from a former student today. He wanted to let me know that a friend of his, Joey Lewis, had been killed in Afghanistan this week. Because Joey had attended Bell for his sophomore and junior years, he thought I might've known him.
To be truthful, I didn't recognize the name, but as soon as I found his sophomore picture in the 2001 yearbook, I knew him. He was in my English class. In his portrait, he's got a great big smile—just like I remembered him.
In the email, my former student said that Joey was a good friend and that he would be greatly missed. "I think any of the former Bell High School students who are active or former military and knew Joey feel a great sadness for his loss," he wrote. I know my heart is breaking for his family, especially his mom, his dad, his wife, and his baby girl. Joey was 26.
As I pray for Joey's grieving family, I will continue to pray for all "my kids" who are still in harm's way.
Edited to add: The story from Military Times is here.