God gives me moments of connection frequently that leave me breathless. Last night, for instance, we arrived from Honolulu to San Francisco to spend a couple days sightseeing in San Francisco before returning home to the East Coast.

When I ordered our car from the airport to the hotel and the Uber driver picked us up, my ears picked up a thick accent and I asked him where he was from.


I told him the kids’ father died there in 2014. Military.

The driver, Hamed, said he was an interpreter there for 3rd Special Forces Group (A) from 2005 to 2014.

In Jalalabad.

I told him Jerry left the last time for Afghanistan April 3, 2014, as a Green Beret Medic in 3rd Special Forces Group (A), on the way to Jalalabad, and then on from there to his base, and when the operation went pear-shaped and Jerry died, he was evacuated to Jalalabad Air Field Hospital in early August 2014.

Hamed was able to bring his family to the United States from Jalalabad in May 2014 and he and they have been safe here ever since. While he didn’t work with Jerry, he worked with many from our small Special Forces community, including Colonel Moses, who as it happens went hunting with Jerry on Fort Bragg before Jerry ever even joined the Army!

Of all the Uber drivers in all the world, Hamed was the one to drive us last night, and for that I feel happy, grateful, and connected; connected to God, to Jerry, and to the world around me.

Written December 27, 2023 by Nancy Gass