"JIM COMES HOME"


"JIM COMES HOME"
Pointe Viven - Jesse Bluma. All rights reserved.





This is a powerful story I discover and thought you would appreciate...


"The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of JIM.

Katherine Cathey was expecting a phone call from her husband, Marine 2nd. Lt. Jim Cathey, so she could tell him if their baby would be a boy or a girl. Instead, she got a knock at the door -- the knock every military family dreads. When his body finally arrived at the airport in the Marine's hometown of Reno, Katherine never wanted to leave his side. 'You take for granted the last night you spend with them,' she said. 'I think I took it for granted. This was the last night I'll have to sleep next to him.' She said about her all night vigil by Jim's casket the night before his burial. Major Steve Beck prepares for the final inspection of 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey's body, only days after notifying Cathey's wife of the Marine's death in Iraq.


At the first sight of her husband's flag-draped casket, Katherine Cathey broke into uncontrollable sobs, finding support in the arms of Major Steve Beck. When Beck first knocked on her door in Brighton to notify her of her husband's death, she glared at him, cursed him, and refused to speak to him for more than an hour. Over the next several days, he helped guide her through the grief. By the time they reached the tarmac, she wouldn't let go. 


The night before the burial of her husband's body, Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time. The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. 'I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it,' she said. 'I think that's what he would have wanted.'"


I discovered these photos at Pictures of the Year.  The competition is an international contest of photo submissions.  Photos of the Year is a program of the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute.  More of this collection can be found at this link.  
http://www.poyi.org/63/NPOY2/story04_01.php
















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1 comment:

  1. Photos by Todd Heisler and story by Jim Sheeler. This is an excerpt from "Final Salute" that was a special series in the Rocky Mountain News and later became a full length book.

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