November 25, 2011
Heavenly Light Shines On Soldier's Dog
There are many things that makes one question the existence of a Higher Power. Many injustices that makes one doubt, many miracles that makes one believe.
But sometimes, it isn't an injustice or a miracle that gives one pause, but a simple yet seemingly impossible image. The picture below was taken only moments after reporter interviewed the parents of Justin Rollin.
Rollin was killed in Iraq. The night before he died, he and his fellow soldiers adopted several puppies and his family fought to have one of those puppies - one that Justin himself held - brought home.
The dog in the picture is that puppy, now grown.
It was an overcast day in Newport, N.H., when a simple “20/20″ shoot turned into something that made me wonder about life after death.
I was filming soldier Justin Rollin’s parents Skip and Rhonda playing with their dog Hero, whose rescue from the Iraq War zone where Justin died was nothing short of a miracle.
Sometimes when Rhonda hugged Hero she would softly pet her face and coo, “Justin, are you in there?” It was Rhonda’s gentle way of remembering their son and his last living connection to Hero. At one point, Hero wandered off and took a stroll in the backyard. All of a sudden, the clouds broke and a light began to solidify in a beam directly down on Hero — a kind of vertical halo.
As this dramatic ray of light was shining on Hero she turned to look at me, and it was all I could do to hold the camera steady and not drop it in astonishment. It was an unforgettable moment, and made me wonder if in fact Justin was in there. Then the light vanished.
I couldn’t wait to check my camera’s playback to see if it caught the stunning beam. When I saw that it did, I was so happy that I burst out dancing. It was a great moment to share with Justin’s parents. We all laughed together, and wondered if perhaps this had been a sign from Justin.
You can watch the full story on "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. EST on ABC.
(Hat Tip: Pat Dollard)