Today marks the one-year anniversary of Sgt. Thomas Allen Baysore’s death at the hands of an “enemy combatant wearing an Afghan National Army Uniform who opened fire on a group of Soldiers.”
His 6-year-old son Darren has asked that the people of Clarksville, TN turn on their porch lights and post it to Facebook so his father can see that he’s remembered.
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – The child of a fallen Fort Campbell soldier has a request for the community, and it requires no money or extraordinary effort.
On Friday night, Sept. 26, the one-year anniversary of his father’s death in Afghanistan, Darren Baysore, 6, wants everyone who can to turn their porch light on in memory of his father, Staff Sgt. Thomas Allen Baysore Jr. of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team “Currahee,” 101st Airborne Division.
He also wants people to post the pictures of their porchlights (or if they don’t have one, a candlelight) and a note saying where they’re posting from to a Facebook page called “Shining Love to Daddy Baysore,” https://www.facebook.com/baysoreslight.
His mother, Jamie Baysore of Clarksville, explained the request.
“Tom and Darren used to look up at the night sky all the time, and his daddy would say, ‘I love you to the moon and back.’ He told him that again the night before he deployed.
“When we received the news that Tom had died in Afghanistan, Darren turned the porch light on so his father could see it from the moon. That’s where he believes his dad is. He wants Dad to know his son is sending his love.”
For Jamie Baysore, the reality that her husband was gone was a long, slow and painful time coming.
“I’m finally getting myself used to this,” she said. “People don’t realize these soldiers are deployed for long periods of time, and so you get used to them not being here.
“It took me a while to realize how ‘gone’ he really is, that he isn’t coming back, that there’s no ‘welcome home’ – nothing.”
The effects of war and the devastation of loss are hard on everyone involved, but especially so for children who are often obscured in the background during memorial services and Gold Star family events.
For Darren, according to his mother, the loss of his father has been a pain that hasn’t subsided in a year since the news came.
“Last night, Darren sat in the corner crying,” Jamie said, “and he asked why he can’t have his dad back. He looks at pictures all day, asks so many questions.
“He used to go to church and he doesn’t want to go anymore, and I don’t want to push him. If I push, I’m afraid he’ll lose God forever.
“He has a right to be mad. I’m mad.”
Shine a light
Thomas Baysore was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Jamie, said she and Darren will be going back to Arlington in October, the month of both her wedding anniversary and Thomas’s birthday.
But first, on Friday, there will be a one-year memorial at the Air Assault School on Fort Campbell, and then Jamie and Darren will go home and turn their porch light on.
Then Darren will turn on his IPAD, go to the special Facebook page set up for the occasion, and wait to see if anyone else remembers. He and his mother plan to put the pictures they receive in a scrapbook.
This story completely kicked me in the feels. I, for one, plan to join those in Clarksville, Tennessee this evening by turning on my porch light and posting the picture to Facebook https://www.facebook.com/baysoreslight.
I hope everyone that reads this story joins me in honoring the one year memorial of a fallen soldier, and letting a 6-year-old know that America remembers his father’s sacrifice as well.