Loss of a Ranger: Saw Htin Linn Oo

Dear friends and family,

We had a very unexpected tragedy on Monday 18th December, when Saw Htin Linn Oo, a Free Burma Ranger who joined us for the past two years from Rangoon, drowned while supporting a training mission. He was part of our advanced Ranger training group and headquarters team. On December 18, after river training was completed, Saw Htin Linn Oo went at night to get water for the support team and did not come back. No one is sure, but it seems he slipped and hurt himself on rocks and fell into a big river. When he didn’t come back from gathering water, other Ranger instructors began to search for him, but could not find them until the next day when they found his body downstream. This was a big surprise for all of us because he knew how to swim; it makes us very sad.

Saw Htin Linn Oo was one of the most cheerful, most competent Rangers we had ever trained and worked with. He joined us after the coup, when he was forced to flee Rangoon. He was extremely humble and offered his services right away as a mechanic and showed himself as someone who could fix anything with a smile. He then attended two different Ranger trainings so, as he said, “I could get better and better to serve my people.” He quickly became a crucial part of our staff, and ran maintenance for all operations in the training area as well as missions that were sent from there. He was loved by everyone and I’m still in shock writing this. We just spent time together and I had sent him some glasses as his eyesight he said needed a little bit of help.

His death came not because of war, but was an accident and we are so sorry.  His death reminded me that nothing is sure in life and to hold each other tightly and love each other; that we need to forgive each other and keep loving God and each other. We don’t know how much time each of us has so I pray we can use our lives to the best, just like Htin Linn Oo did.  We look forward to seeing him in heaven with Jesus and until then we are inspired by his example of humble and excellent service. The Rangers performed a funeral and burial for him, and he will be on our wall of heroes. Htin Linn Oo will be missed very deeply, and our hearts are broken. But we do have hope that with God, there is another life and it is an eternal life. We thank God that at this time of Christmas, we are reminded that God sent Jesus to save us from sin and give us eternal life. So, through our tears, we can say, “Thank you God, we love you, and thank you for sending Jesus.”

Funeral for Saw Htin Linn Oo.
Burial of beloved Saw Htin Linn Oo.

Thanks and God bless you,

Dave, family, and FBR