AND’s SkewedNews — Tornados killed over two dozen people this week in Huma Hill, Texas, including high school star running back Franklin Maxima of Huma Hill. His death has sent shockwaves through the small Texas community and through his family. Maxima’s mother was inconsolable, knowing that she had lost her only son forever, and that he’d never get to die in the unwinnable Afghanistan war.
“I miss him so much!” sobbed Harriet Maxima, Franklin‘s mother, as she folded napkins into tiny triangles in her modest, two-bedroom home. “I just keep picturing him walking through our front door like he always does. I mean, it’s so pointless! He wasn’t even finished talking to the recruiter!”
“We’re just all shook up,” said Merle Radley, Franklin‘s coach. “Franklin was one of the fastest kids at Huma Hill High. I imagine he could’ve used that speed to almost outrun an I.E.D. or something. But now he’ll never get the chance.”
Everyone, from the customers at Jacob’s Barbershop to the baristas at the Huma Hill Cafe, was still reeling from the news that one of their own was gone from a natural disaster — and not the seemingly endless military quagmire thousands of miles away.
“It’s a damn shame,” said Paul Walters of the Huma Hill Funeral Home. “I never thought I would be fitting Franklin for a coffin … without a flag over it.”
Even Specialist Armon Dinger was crushed by the news. “When a popular kid like that signs up, it’s like manna from heaven for us. At least five or six of his classmates would’ve followed him right into a contract. Now their dream and my quotas are shot. This is a tragedy for everyone.”
Franklin‘s friends were shocked and devastated by the news. Georgina Guthries, Franklin‘s homecoming queen girlfriend, has turned her grief into action. She created the “Send Franklin‘s Ashes to Afghanistan” Facebook page, hoping to raise enough donations so that Franklin‘s remains could be shipped there.
“I know if he had lived, this is where he’d want to be dead,” said Guthries through the tears. “Left inside the border of a foreign, unstable narco-state rife with corruption that the United States government continues to subsidize.”
Mrs. Maxima’s days are now tougher without Franklin around. She credits her family, friends and unwavering faith in Jesus Christ to get her through the upcoming non-military funeral. “I just pray that this doesn’t happen to another family,” Maxima sobs. “To know the pain of not having your son’s remains arrive on a military transport that no one will photograph — it’s almost unbearable! That’s why I urge everyone to register their kids and talk to a recruiter as soon as possible. And I pray that if their child never goes to Afghanistan, that at least they end up working for a Defense Contract or the State Department.”
For aNewDomain’s SkewedNews, I’m Tony DiGerolamo.