Posted by: sisubeads | November 11, 2013

“Thank You” is not strong enough to reflect my gratitude

jeremy henwood

The words Thank You fall tremendously short of reflecting my gratitude for our veterans and their families.  And I’d like to honor one hero that has left a great impression on me. Both a San Diego Police Officer and a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, Jeremy Henwood dedicated his life to serving others.  Just minutes before he was murdered, Jeremy bought a child McDonalds.    A boy he didn’t know, who wanted some cookies.  A seemingly small act of kindness and generosity has left such a huge impact.    Many say integrity is what you do when you think nobody is looking.  I think this shows his character and integrity.


When Jeremy returned from reserve duty in Afghanistan, he filled the spot I had left open on my squad.  I had injured my back and couldn’t do field work.  I was at a wedding when I heard Jeremy was shot.  I wanted to rush off and find whoever had done this.  But, I knew I couldn’t.  I felt so helpless, I went to the hospital not knowing what to expect.   I was a bit confused to see Jeremy still in bed because I heard he had died.   Then, I was told he was going to donate his organs.  I had the honor of holding Jeremy’s hand until that time came.  In those hours, I kept hoping and praying that he would recover.. somehow..  some miracle.   But, as I was trying to hold onto him.   Literally, not wanting to let go of his hand.  Jeremy was yet giving of himself again.  Before harvesting,  he was given blood.  His hand warmed.   Warmed in a way that I felt it through my body.  He was actually giving his body to save others.  He did it with warmth and bravery.   His courage and generosity is extraordinary.   I admire his spirit.   He lived and died a hero.

Jeremy memorial

The plaque honoring fallen San Diego police Officer Jeremy Henwood is displayed after it was unveiled at the Veterans Day ceremony at the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial. Standing by at right is Cpl. Joseph Moreno, of Camp Pendleton’s Eagle Young Marines. — Charlie Neuman

There is no Thank You that can express my gratitude to him.   The best I can do is to do good in his honor.    Thank you, Jeremy, for setting the bar so high.  You have made this world a better place.  And your legacy continues to make it better.



  1. Sisu Beads are Julie and Gina, I say this only in case someone reads this and thinks I am writing to myself. I’m not. Julie wrote the above, this is now me, Gina. Julie, I know how hard that day was on you. I love that you were there to hold his hand, he knew he had someone there watching over him and staying with him, loving him, praying for him…I know you hoped that would help ease his mom’s mind and heart. You are both heros. All of our military and police officers are. I know I don’t tell you everyday, but thank you for being the kind of person you are, one who is so honorable and compassionate. I am lucky to know you.

  2. I have been volunteering with charities and non-profits since ninth grade. When I got my first driver’s license in 1973, they asked if I wanted to be an organ donor since that information was put on the back of the driver’s license in Texas. I said yes. I thought it only reasonable that if something happened to me, someone else should be able to benefit.

  3. Thank you, it is a very honorable gift to give. I am a donor too.

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