The Bearer Of Bad News

By: Koula Gianulias
By: Koula Gianulias

For a military family, this is the one man they hope they never have to meet.
"I think its part of my job to feel with them.," says Nevada Air National Guard Chaplan Bill Rohrer. "To weap with them. To cry with them. If they can laugh, to laugh with them."
Rohrer has had the difficult task of notifying approximately 60 families all over the country, that they've lost a loved one. Here in Northern Nevada, he has shared tragic news with three families in the past three weeks.
"One after another, it kinda weighs on you. One is bad enough."
Rohrer says it never gets easier, and he prays he wont have to do it again. But he continues to volunteer, because he has so much experience doing it. Rohrer says family members realize something tragic has happened the second they see military personnel on their doorstep. He says some refuse to open the door, hoping the pain will just go away. He's also had some violent reactions. One mother pounded his chest, another family member spit on him.
But he says he's ready to deal with whatever he's confronted with, and wants to comfort them and give them answers they're desperate for.Rohrer says the Army doesn't reveal a lot of information initially - just the facts. After that, a casualty assistance officer visits the home, and begins making arrangements for a funeral and the return of the family's loved one.


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