Operation Proper Exit allows mother to honor soldier son who made ultimate sacrifice

- It was a homecoming no one was expecting.

"It was never a thought that he would not come back never, and it was never in his mind," Diana Pike said.

It was Sunday, March 13, 2013 when Diana Pike got that dreaded phone call about her son, Navy Chief Christian Pike.

"I got the phone call at 6 o'clock in the morning that he'd been shot," she said. "For me, the hope, I lost my future in that moment, that one bullet took my future and my grandchildren and I have found a hard time finding that."

Help may come in the next few months as Pike will travel overseas with Operation Proper Exit to visit areas Christian served in.

"I don't know if when you lose a child if you ever heal," she said.

But she's hoping this trip may help.

"It's not like going to Arlington to see him, when I go to Arlington that's the end of him, but when I go to Afghanistan, it's not, it's part of him that left there," she said. "I get to be there when he was alive and I'm so grateful for that opportunity."

The opportunity is given to veterans like Diana and wounded warriors who will take the trip with her.

"For me, it's a proxy with proper exit," she said. "I get to make Christian's proper exit that he didn't get to make for himself.

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