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Two brothers take a nap at their Army father’s grave in Arlington National Cemetery

December 19, 2017

Brothers Mason and Mylan Brazel visited their father’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery for the first time last month, on Nov. 20, and took a nap beside him.

Mason, 8, and Mylan, 5, napped next to the tombstone of their father, Army Staff Sgt. Alfred “Fred” Brazel, who died at age 37 of stage four rectal cancer on July 31 after having been diagnosed with it in February, ABC News reported.

The family drove 24 hours from Colorado to visit the grave.

“We brought a blanket. Mylan said he felt like he could feel his daddy, and he wanted to take a nap with him,” Kait Brazel told ABC News.

“He is laying there taking a nap with his dad and Mason is beside him praying,” she said. “They took time together with each other and I just stood back.”

While at the gravestone, the two boys shared their accomplishments since their father passed away.

“Mylan shared with him how he had earned his uniform and belt in his fight class, and how he went to a Halloween party and won a cake,” Kait Brazel said. “Mason told him how he got a trophy for his breaststroke in his swim competition. They updated him on their lives.”

Kait Brazel said her sons are viewing their father’s death in a more positive light.

“I tell them, ‘We are here as tools for God. God knew that Daddy was a really strong person, and there were some people God couldn’t reach unless he used Daddy as a tool,'” she said. “That’s how we went with it and how we justified it. That’s what we believe.”

The two boys went to all of the doctors’ appointments, and any questions they had about the cancer, doctors answered, Kait Brazel told TODAY.

“We don’t shelter them from ‘adult things.’ It was their dad and they were a part of the fight. We have always been very open with them, and because of this I believe they have handled the whole journey amazingly,” she said.

Before leaving their father’s grave, Mylan turned back and gave his father a hug.

Kait Brazel hopes that the pictures of her sons will bring attention to the dangerous burn pits that American soldiers were exposed to in the Middle East. She thinks that her husband got cancer from the pits during a deployment to Iraq.