Scope and Contents
This collection holds material about First Lieutenant Todd W. Weaver, a 2008 alumnus of the College of William and Mary '08, who died September 9, 2010, in Kandahar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. The collection includes correspondence, programs, news clippings, and related material from memorials, dedications, and other events. Included are a program and speech from the tree dedication ceremony at the College of William and Mary on November 14, 2010; correspondence by Jeanne Weaver, mother of Todd Weaver, about her favorite memories of her son; an advertisement for the establishment of the 1st Lt. Todd W. Weaver Memorial Award by the College of William and Mary; news clippings; and other material. Two DVDs containing the memorial service at Williamsburg Community Chapel, on September 25, 2010, and the interment service at Arlington National Cemetery, on October 14, 2010, are housed in the University Archives Audiovisual Collection.
A military challenge coin is included in the collection. Description is as follows: Challenge coin (4.4 centimeters in diameter, .3 centimeters width) featuring a full length sepia tinted portrait of Todd W. Weaver in Army uniform in the center. Outer edge is cadet blue with gold lettering. Words read; "1st Lieutenant Todd W. Weaver, It's not length but depth of life" on one side. The other side in the center is a bald eagle with a yellow ribbon below with the words; "Rendezvous with Destiny". Outer edge in same blue as flip side with gold lettering. Words on outer edge read; HAVOC 16, Airborne Ranger, KIA 9-9-10, Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access:
Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
Conditions Governing Use:
Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.
"I was alone in the house that early morning when the Army Officer and Chaplain came to my door to give me the grave news that my son, Todd had been killed in action in Kandahar, Afghanistan. We sat in the living room. They attempted to talk to me and to ask questions. I could not comprehend what they were saying. I turned to look out the window to the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. I could feel the rage building inside me. Suddenly a luminous light passed before my eyes as though a white iridescent screen was being closed. My body and mind calmed. I turned back to them and asked, Has Todd’s wife, Emma been notified? The following day we traveled to Dover. Two chairs were placed on the tarmac for Emma and myself. I looked at the military men walking down the airplane stairs and thought to myself, Todd will not walk down those stairs. I could see the colors of the flag draped over the coffin through the open side entrance of the plane. As I held Emma’s hand, I watched as the honor guard carried Todd’s casket out onto the conveyor platform. Suddenly, I became aware of a brilliant, warm comforting light surround me and enter my heart. I took a deep breath to mask the gasp I felt so as to not disturb the silence. At that moment I knew Todd was okay. I knew Todd was in Eternal Light. I knew I would survive the worst of tragedies, the loss of a child. Later, W. Taylor Reveley, President of The College of William and Mary would pronounce in his address at the Celebration of Life Memorial Service, The death of a person about whom we care deeply is always hard to bear, but when death comes suddenly to someone who is still young and who is a person of enormous past accomplishment and enormous future promise, death is a particularly wrenching blow. The pain and grief were unbearable. Yet, I knew that if I kept my heart and mind open to listen to God’s whispers, a path would open for me to nurture Todd’s memory just as I had nurtured his life. My path materialized by using my God-given talent as a two dimensional artist. I painted twenty-one oil paintings in one year’s time. Through the process of painting and later in writing the book, I felt the loving arms of God’s Grace envelop me and steer me through this personal journey. I embraced it. I needed to reach the depths of despair so that with God’s love I could dig my way out and by doing so find perfect joy. I believe each of us is born with an innate quality which will see us through the most heart-wrenching and difficult times of our lives. We must only allow ourselves the time to dig deep into our souls and keep our heart and mind open to listen to the not always quiet murmurs sent to us by God. Losing Todd: A Mother’s Journey has a multifaceted theme. Patriotism and pro-active grief show forth in the book clearly. For those who look closer, there is a third underlying theme of the overwhelming and nurturing love by God for all, and His gift of Consolation and Grace. I am not a graphic artist who uses line and tone to create designs for printmaking, etching, typography or computer generated designs. Rather, I am a fine artist who works with brush and oil paints on canvas using color, form, light and composition in order to create an expression of ideas or an atmosphere of emotion in my work." —Jeanne Harris Weaver, Artist and Author of " Losing Todd: A Mother’s Journey"
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