If you had asked me the day before how I'd be spending Saturday morning, I wouldn't have answered, "in the delivery room with my sister." Especially considering she lives in Texas now and I'm still in Cali. When my home phone rang at 8:30 AM Sat. morning (!) I knew it was mom 'cause no one else would dare. But she had Susan on the line, who had just settled into the hospital room having gone into labor a couple of hours earlier. The early morning wake-up call was quickly forgiven. The second call came at about 10:15 and mom and I stayed on the line 'til sister brought my first nephew into the world at 10:30AM. Merek Allen, who wasn't named for hours later, was 7 lbs., 14 oz. and 20 in.
God Bless him.
If you told me then that as soon as the following day while still giddy over becoming a fourth-time aunt, that I'd be mourning the loss of someone I'd never met, I would have bet against you. But on Sunday afternoon that's exactly what happened when, while I was making casual movie plans, I learned that my good friend Dave Hummel had lost his brother-in-law in Iraq. Sarah and her family were still adjusting to Tony being gone, packing their first boxes to ship over - he'd been there six short weeks.
Army Pfc. George Anthony Lutz II, 25, was killed Thursday when his patrol was attacked by small arms fire in Fallujah. He is survived by his wife, Tiffany, and his two children, George Anthony III and Ava.
Tony was a dedicated soldier (and Redskins fan) and served our country with enthusiasm. He left for Iraq eager to apply what he had learned in training. He was assigned to the Army's 9th Psychological Operations Battalion, 4th Psychological Operations Group, at Fort Bragg, N.C. Prior to being sent to Iraq, Tony had been in New Orleans where, among other things, he rescued two elderly women from a house that had already been searched.
Sarah and Dave were already on the east coast visiting their families when they got the tragic news. Sarah was fortunate to have received a call from her brother just a few days before his death. His grandmother, too. They had both solicited his needs for care packages. One of his last requests: please send candy for the Iraqi children.
God Bless him.