View Full Version : Faith comforts mother after son's death

01-10-06, 07:19 AM
Faith comforts mother after son's death
Advocate staff writer
Published: Jan 9, 2006

Jan McCurdy, a Christian, said she believes God prepares us for the most challenging situations in our lives. Since both her sons joined the Marines, she prays often for both of them. In the last week or so, she found herself thinking of Scripture from 2 Timothy 1:12.

“I even said it aloud in my car. It was, ‘I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day’,” she said Sunday afternoon while sitting in her Jefferson Terrace living room.
McCurdy learned Thursday that her younger son, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ryan McCurdy, 20, was killed by small-arms fire in Fallujah, Iraq.

The only details she knows is that he was guarding a building where U.S. and Iraqi officials meet.
“So it was a target,” she said.

Two bullets hit Lance Cpl. McCurdy in the chest.

“I hope that means he went quickly,” she said.

Jan McCurdy slipped back and forth from present to past tense when she spoke about her son.

“Both my boys are strong and good-hearted. Ryan’s dream was to be a Marine,” she said.

McCurdy has been a single mother since her younger son was about 13, she said.

He was a 2004 graduate of Christian Life Academy. An athlete, he was a second team all-district catcher in baseball, center for the football team and also played soccer.

“He was really best at baseball, but he loved football because it was so physical,” she said.

She described Ryan McCurdy as physically energetic since he was a child.

“Even the preschool teachers remember me having to wrestle him to get him take medicine when he was sick,” McCurdy said.

His nickname was “Dirty,” she said, because he seemed to attract dirt.

“He was just always playing rough,” she said.

His room is filled with trophies as well as gear for hunting, fishing and sports.

“The bedroom’s hard for me. I had just bought him a new bedspread,” she said pointing to a plaid comforter. “He was going to be home in February.”

In the days since the news has spread of her son’s death, she’s been touched by many people.

She received a card and flowers from a neighborhood boy who was a schoolmate of her son’s but a few years younger.

The card expresses sadness because the boy remembers Ryan McCurdy as someone who was kind and friendly to everyone.
“That’s just how Ryan was. I could talk for hours about him,” she said.

Jan McCurdy shared some thoughts she had written down. It starts: “Many circumstances in life we would not choose.”
But, she said, she and her family will find their way through their grief.

Her older son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Grant McCurdy, 24, flew into Baton Rouge on Saturday night from San Diego, where he is stationed.

Jan McCurdy said she thinks her boys’ interest in the military started when they were young. There were Marines guarding a building where their father worked.

“I told them that the Marines were angels protecting their father. I told them that the Marines are the top, and they always want to be the best,” she said.

Lance Cpl. Grant McCurdy was quiet and spent the afternoon washing and cleaning his brother’s truck while his mother’s friends gathered in her kitchen.

“Ryan didn’t die protecting our freedom; he died giving someone else theirs,” Grant McCurdy said.

He spent seven months in Iraq in 2004. He was returning from Iraq when his brother shipped out in September.
He said his time in Iraq didn’t make him worry about his younger brother.

“I had no reservations. I knew he would be fine. He is fine,” McCurdy said.

Ryan McCurdy’s funeral arrangements are pending at Greenoaks Funeral Home. In addition to his mother and brother, he is survived by his father, Stan McCurdy of Denham Springs.