The Journal Register (Medina, NY)


September 7, 2011

VALLEY: The other side of a tragedy


In late June of 2010, I wrote a column about my friend, Dave Cook. Back then, Dave and his wife, Carol (and daughter, Chelsea) had been through a Hell-ish scare when a liaison with the U.S. Marine Corps had left a message about their son, Sgt. Trevor T. Cook. Trevor was serving in Afghanistan at the time.

They were eventually relieved of those anxious moments when the family received word that Trevor was safe. A year — to the week — after that column appeared, that scare turned to reality when Sgt. Trevor Cook was killed in a military exercise in California. He was in extensive training to return to Afghanistan when the tragedy struck.

I asked Dave if he’d feel comfortable contributing to this week’s column in an effort to let people know and hear his feelings about such a loss. And — being the champion that he is — he accepted. All that follows (and the title above this article) are the words of Sgt. Trevor Cook’s father and my good friend, Dave Cook.


Many people suffer through tragic events in their lives. Some are stronger of will and in their beliefs than others and this enables them to move ahead at a better pace. Those who struggle often have less support from family and friends. And, even more importantly, they may lack a sense of faith. But until something terrible happens, it is hard to know how any of us will react.

It’s said that losing a child is the worst thing that can ever happen to a person. They’re right! From an early age, I’ve witnessed illnesses and deaths in my family — but absolutely nothing can compare to the heartbreaking loss and sense of helplessness our family felt upon losing our only son. A pain that will forever blend reality with nightmares.

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