He was such a happy kid. So smiley. He loved to play.
The Glen Alpine Community has been very supportive. People rallied to the Sullivans' side, with love, food, and gifts. They have begun a swimming lessons scholarship fund for those who cannot afford to get lessons.
As Summer gets started and we are all going out to play, I'd like to share a few things:When I was less than two years old, I went missing. I don't know how long I had been gone. It could have only been one minute. It could have been a lot longer. But when they realized that I was not where I should be, they did a search.
It was my sister, Kim, who found me in the pool. I was floating face down and not moving.
Thank God that my parents had already started teaching me how to swim. I was holding my breath. No damage was done.
Many people cannot boast of such a miracle. Death by drowning is one of the leading killers of children.
I wasn't at the birthday swim party where my friend's son drowned on June 3rd. He wasn't a toddler. He was 11 years old. The pool was filled with people. Kids as well as adults. It was an above ground pool...eight feet deep and had a shallow end. Yet, the water was murky from chemicals and rafts hid the horror underneath.
Rafts are not life savers. Those little yellow blow up things that you stick on arms of children are not life savers. Life vests. The kind that hold your head above water. That and swimming lessons save lives.
It was the last week of my deployment in Hungary for the Bosnia Crisis. The unit was celebrating.
We went to a beautiful restaurant/resort on Lake Balaton. The unit provided boating but we were told not to swim.
Many of us had too much to drink.
It was hot.
I was sitting at the end of a long, long dock, awaiting my turn in the motor boat when Captain D- and Specialist P- decided to strip down and dive in.
CPT D- went first. He performed a shallow swimmer's dive and immediately stood up with his nose scrapped from the bottom of the lake.
It was shallow.
We were all shocked. I mean, we were on a really long dock and it looked so deep. But when CPT D- stood up, the water lapped just under the top of his boxers.
This happened so fast that no one was able to stop SPC P- from going in.
I remember yelling, "DON'T DIVE!!!"
But he was too drunk and running too fast to stop himself. He dove. Not a shallow dive but a deep dive.
He didn't come up on his own.
CPT. D- pulled him up and held his head out of the water but SPC P- was screaming that he couldn't move. He had broken his neck. He is now a quadriplegic. He was only 20 years old.
Please, as you go out to play and swim, remember:
Test the water's depth before diving.
Don't swim if you have been drinking alcohol.
Don't swim if you are tired.
Don't swim if you are sick.
Don't swim alone. Use the buddy system!
Don't swim as far as you can go. You won't be coming back.
Watch your children.
And please parents, get your kids into swimming lessons. It will save their lives.
Please keep praying for the Sullivan family. They are so very sad. As is the whole community. Kyle's loss will be felt forever.