From the Boston Globe, as reported by the Nazarene News Service:
Salem, New Hampshire-(Boston Globe)
After a rocky adolescence, Robert Moscillo found a plan for his life: he wanted to become a pastor, he told family and friends, but first, he would have to attend college. To finance his education, the Salem, New Hampshire resident decided to join the military.
"He said that he found that God really did love him; it was a somewhat difficult thing for him to grasp," said Pastor Dennis M. Scott of Community Bible Fellowship Church of the Nazarene in Manchester. "But he did come to understand that God had a plan for his life."
Lance Corporal Moscillo, 21, who left for Iraq 10 weeks ago, was killed when his Humvee detonated a land mine Tuesday, May 2, his family said.
The Marine's death, which came after years of struggling to find himself, left Scott shaken. The pastor had cared for Moscillo for four years. "It's difficult for me to see this as part of God's plan," Scott said. "But God doesn't always reveal his plan to me."
Moscillo lived with Scott during his high school years, at the request of his mother, a struggling single parent who could not handle her rebellious son, said Scott.
Moscillo "saw it as a new beginning," Scott said.
For four years, Moscillo buckled down, mostly staying out of trouble and performing respectably at Salem High. Following his graduation, Moscillo again felt restless and adrift, Scott said. Again, Moscillo sought out the pastor's assistance and advice, ultimately finding direction and purpose in his spiritual life.
"He came to the point where he decided he needed to settle down and establish some priorities," Scott said. "He felt the Lord had been talking to him about becoming a pastor." Moscillo wanted to attend Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, then seminary, Scott said. The Marines would provide the financial means, but his duty in Iraq was not only an economic tool.
"He appreciated freedom and believed he was going to Iraq to help other people go free," Scott said.
At Camp Pendleton, California, where he went through boot camp, Moscillo was nicknamed "The Chaplain" for pushing his fellow Marines to attend church, his family said. He shipped out to Iraq on February 25. "We would ask him what he was doing over there," Jeffrey said. "He would always just laugh and say, 'I'd rather not get into it.'"
Moscillo leaves his father, Frank of Beverly, and his mother, Donna of Salem, as well as three siblings, Sandra and Joseph of Salem, and David, who is in Marine boot camp.
Scott last saw Moscillo in February, just days before he was to head for the war zone. "We talked about the possibility of his not coming back," Scott said. "And Bob said, 'I want to come back, but if I go to heaven, I'm ready.'"
--Boston Globe (Boston.com)
As a military veteran, this story has made me weep more than once in the last two days. Life is fragile, and we may not be here for very long. Let's pray for all of our troops.