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Acts of kindness: In memory of a fallen hero
Tom Sileo's op-ed column on The Unknown Soldiers: Acts of kindness.

 Amy Looney and her husband, Brendan.
Courtesy of Amy Looney
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Date published: 10/4/2012

ATLANTA

--It's been two years since Amy Looney's husband, Lt. Brendan Looney, 29, a Navy SEAL, was killed in Afghanistan.

"Before I could blink, life as I knew it had vanished," Amy recently wrote in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

It would have been understandable if this grieving Afghanistan war widow, 31, chose to spend the second anniversary of her husband's death in seclusion. Instead, the wife of the fallen SEAL woke at sunrise in San Diego and spent Sept. 21 making others smile.

Amy and a group of friends brought food to a homeless shelter, paid parking meters, bought coffee for strangers at Starbucks, and even gave a hungry family a grocery store gift card. They also brought treats to firefighters and police officers to thank them for their service.

After each act was performed, the recipient was given a red, white, and blue card decorated with gold stars.

"This random act of kindness has been performed in loving memory of Lt. (SEAL) Brendan J. Looney, KIA Afghanistan Sept. 21, 2010," it read.

In her moving Sept. 20 column, Amy challenged Americans to perform 10 acts of kindness before the end of 2012 in honor of our nation's fallen heroes and their families.

"By uniting during such divided times, we can show the world that America is still the world's brightest light," she wrote.

I decided to join Amy in performing acts of kindness on Friday, Sept. 21, albeit from thousands of miles away in Atlanta.

My first visit was to a nearby barbershop. As a young female stylist started cutting my hair, she asked if I had the day off, prompting me to explain that the offices of the Travis Manion Foundation, where Amy and I both work, were closed to honor a fallen Navy SEAL.


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