Memorial Day

Everywhere you look or hear, the media is saying (rightfully so, for once) that today is not about the barbeques or special retail sales or the first official weekend of the summer when the fighter jets fly over Jones Beach.

This is the time to remember those who have fallen. I have a few that I want to remember yet I didn’t use their real names in order to protect their privacy and that of their families.00023v

Specialist M.W. – Unfortunately, he lived at a homeless shelter for veterans when he decided to try to get his life together and re-enlist. I first met him back after 9/11 and he just joined the unit. We were assigned to post security at Fort Totten. When the work day was over, I would always drive him to the train station. One day, I bought some beers and said that I’d drive him home. He started to tear a little bit and confessed that he didn’t have a home. In December of 2003, he was sent back from Iraq to Fort Dix, New Jersey because of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The authorities found him in the surrounding town dead from heroin overdose on Christmas Day.

Private C.W. – She came into the unit the same time I did so we built a special bond. She was attractive and was a bank teller outside of the military but wanted to become a cop. At the unit we would always look for each other to go to lunch and if I was with the guys, she always came. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to hang out together outside of military duty.  She died  in a Humvee rollover in  Balad, Iraq in July 2003.

daysSergeant L.H. –  She also came into the unit at the same time as C.W. and me.   She was also very attractive and was a NYC corrections officer outside of the military. She might’ve been the prettiest NYC  corrections officer ever. She always seemed serious and all business but was kind and on the rare occasions that she did smile, she lit up a whole room. She was killed by a roadside bomb while in a military vehicle in Baghdad, Iraq in June 2003.

Sergeant First Class C.W. – He was the supply Sergeant of the company and he chewed me out over some paperwork glitch when he first joined the unit. I didn’t always like what he said, but I liked him as a person. When you got on C.W.’s good side, he’d give you anything you wanted.  Unfortunately, I was finished with my military committment in early 2005 but didn’t re-enlist because of the birth of my son. I only found out that he died last January in a motor vehicle accident.

I’ll see all of you in the next life. I promise to be more consistent with my contact with you. I miss you and I’m thinking about you.


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