A Father-To-Be, Lost at Sea

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Family photo

Captain Lucas Gruenther

You see enough notices and stories about the deaths of young American military men and women, in combat or elsewhere, that your mind sometimes searches for certain words – or the lack of them – while reading them.

Thursday’s announcement about the night-time training death of a 32-year-old U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot in the Adriatic Sea sadly falls into that category.

An accompanying release from Captain Lucas Gruenther’s family says the 2003 Air Force Academy graduate was “a compassionate husband, a loving son, and a devoted brother.”

Amid such sorrow, is it wrong to feel relief at the missing word — “father” — in that passage?

Alas, a quick Google search reveals that his wife, Cassy, is expecting their first child in several weeks.

R.I.P., Captain Gruenther. Thank you.