Nancy Hanks Springfield: Those who serve

October 27, 2011 12:46:00 PM



It was shortly before 5:30 Friday morning, October 21, when I was awakened by the telephone ringing. My daughter, Scoti Diane Springfield Domeij originally from Columbus, in Colorado Springs, Col., called to say that she had been awakened about 11:30 Thursday night by a loud knocking on her door.  


In Lacy, Washington her daughter-in-law, Sarah Domeij, was disturbed by a knocking on her door. No words needed to be spoken. The uniforms of the men at their doors said it all. 


During his junior year in high school, Kristoffer decided to enlist in the military upon graduation, serve four years, collect his enlistment bonus, go to college, pursue a degree in history, and be a teacher. He chose Special Forces. Living in San Diego at that time, he considered being a Navy Seal but eventually decided on being an Army Ranger. Those four years turned into 11 years. 


After boot camp Kristoffer passed all the training required to qualify for these dangerous Ranger assignments. Barely a year out of high school he was deployed to Afghanistan. He was always in training. Every six to nine months he would be deployed until that fateful Thursday night last week when the men in uniforms brought the dreaded news--"Your husband.. . ."; "Your son... . ." has been killed by a land mine. 


Army Ranger, Sgt. First Class Kristoffer Domeij loved his country and served proudly. He was recently deployed to Afghanistan again. It was his 14th deployment in 11 years to Afghanistan and Iraq. He was only 29 years old, married, and the father of 3-year-old Mikajsa and 15-month-old Aaliyah. The lives of his young wife, mother, grandmother, and other family members are changed forever and two little girls who will eventually have little or no memory of their father. 


I understand the declared wars of World War I and World War II, wars that we were allowed to win. I do not understand the undeclared wars that we were not and are not allowed to win at the cost of American lives in Korea (33,686); Vietnam (58,000); Iraq (4,478); Afghanistan (2,770) and brought no victory and peace to these countries. I would like to have some comfort, some justification for these killings in wars our Congress did not declare. How can I believe the death of my grandson and other brave men and women killed in these senseless wars will bring victory and peace to Asia, the Middle East, and even our own United States? 


Yes, we grieve, but as a family of faith, our only modicum of comfort is that life is eternal. When our mortality embraces its immortality; when our souls return to our Creator and Savior; when our temples of clay are laid to rest, then, and only then, will our grief be complete and "God will wipe away our tears; there will be no more death, no more sorrow, no more crying, no more pain, for the former things will have passed away." 


Nancy Hanks Springfield