Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Death Memorial

PFC Stephen C. Serrano
December 17, 1987 – May 15, 2008

Stephen Serrano was a wonderful child. He was always laughing. His laugh was infectious and his smile was ear to ear and showed every feature. I loved seeing him smile.

He loved music and children. He left behind a wife, Sophia and 5 children, four of them step children. His youngest son turned a year old on May 18th, 2008, five days after he was killed, three days after his body was found. He was a star athlete in football, baseball and wrestling. He played football for the Orangevale Huskies, baseball for Sunrise Little League in Orangevale, CA. and wrestled for Marina Jr High in El Dorado Hills, CA.. He loved the outdoors. He was a wonderful son. He made me laugh. He had a great sense of humor. He had many friends. He was a brother to Shaleen Serrano, Jyoti Serrano, Savannah Rahman, Michael Serrano, Sean McKenney and Jordan Serrano. He joined the Marines in March 2007. He was with the 1st Marine Division, 2d Battalion, and 5th Marines and was a Private First Class. He was born in Bronx, NY on December 17th, 1987.

I remember May 15th 2008 as if it were yesterday, probably because it plays in my mind at least three times a day since then. The sky was blue and the air was warm; warmest it had been all year so far. I had felt ill a couple days before and today I just felt anxious like I forgot something. I headed to work thinking it will pass, but as the hours crawled by I felt a strong urge to speak to my son, Stephen.

After hours of calling and getting his voice mail I finally headed home and called the barracks. I asked them to check and see if Stephen’s toothbrush was in his room. The Major came back on the phone and said it was. I blurted out “What if he has been murdered!?” Stephen never left overnight without his toothbrush and although his comrades stated they had seen him that morning I had a sinking feeling they didn’t. I called Stephen’s phone carrier and asked when the last call was made, they said 10:30 am on May 13th. I called his wife and she hadn’t heard from him since that morning of May 13th. The last time I spoke to him was that Sunday, Mother’s Day when he called to say have a great day and I love you momma. I frantically called the barracks again and as soon as I hung up I received a call from my daughter in law. They had found Stephen. She identified him by his tattoo. I screamed and dropped the phone and begged God to help me.

Was he reaching for me? In some kind of way, the only way he could? Did he just realize what had happened to him? All I could see is him lying there. Wanting me to save him, as I always did before. Him begging me to wake him up from this nightmare. He probably was wondering why he was wandering for a day or two. Then, did he see himself from above? Broken on the grass? In a ditch left there to be found by a stranger? Who could have done such a thing? He was just a kid trying to grow up and fit in.

That was the beginning of the end for me.

Proud Mother of Pfc. Stephen C. Serrano – Christl McKenney

I created a Facebook page RIP Stephen Serrano!/pages/RIP-Stephen-Serrano/108437562534397

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