Wednesday, August 29, 2007

For you, Corin

My buddy Corin just got back from training in the field the other night. I called him up. He was already drinking. He found out about Charles the night of the wake. He couldn't make the funeral. The rules are very strict and are there for a reason. Now that he has some down time, it's hitting him pretty hard. What do you say to a soldier who lost one of our closest friends? He kept saying to me, "It should've been me! It should've been me! Not Charles!"

Corin got back from Afghanistan a couple of months ago. He is single handedly responsible for the capture of a major Taliban Mullah named Mullah Usman. Of course you won't hear shit about it in the news (except in the Chinese it. Let me know if you get anymore information than his own close friends. I'm not holding my breath). He's also assisted in the capture of another major Taliban Mullah (I don't remember his name). Again, you won't hear shit about that news.

We took him out last night to meet up again with some old friends. We toasted to our heroes: Charles, Corin, and the United States military. Today, we're taking him out for some dim sum. Then, he had a special request. He wants to visit Charles' grave to pay his last respects.

Corin will be deployed to Iraq in November. Keep him in your prayers.


We just got back from the cemetary. Zelda had asked Corin if he wanted to get flowers. Corin said that Charles wouldn't want flowers. So, Corin brought a bottle of 18 year old Glenlivet with him. We stood there for awhile. Corin took one swig of scotch then handed me the bottle. I took one swig and handed it back. He then poured the rest of it out over Charles' grave.

Corin: "Now that I'm here, I don't really know what to say."

Me: "I don't know how to salute properly. You do."

With that, Corin and I went to the foot of the grave. Corin faced Charles and gave him a military salute. As we were walking away, we talked.

Me: "I wish I could do that."

Corin: "It's not difficult."

Me: "I won't do it."

Corin: "I wouldn't have minded if you did, but I really appreciate it that you understand that it's personal to the military."

There you have it folks. I am so blessed to have been surrounded in the past with courageous friends as Corin and Charles.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Yeah I know it's Zelda's title too. But when Taps was played right after the 21 gun salute, I broke down. Go read Zelda's take on it. Then, you can read mine over at Blonde Sagacity. Thanks to Ala for letting me share Charles with everyone.

Our friend that we were trying to get out from training in the field was not able to make it. The rules are very strict. I understand that. His parents came to the funeral for him. Please keep our friend Corin in your prayers as well. He'll be deployed around November for Iraq.

I still tear up from time to time, but it's getting less and less. I'm still having difficulty sleeping. Zelda and I ate our first real meal Sunday afternoon. I think it gets worse when it's slow at work and I have nothing to do. I'm so lethargic.

We had one last send off for Charles at our college watering hole Saturday night. All of our old friends showed up. It was really good to see everyone again. Charles would've been proud. It's what he wanted when he got back.

I'm going to try again to sleep tonight. Good night all.

Friday, August 17, 2007

This picture was taken one night in the dorms. It was a 50's party. Yeah, we looked ridiculous. But, it was still fun. Charles is on the left, Kevin is in the middle, and I'm on the right. Charles was the type of guy who would bring over a few beers if you were feeling down. Then, he would organize a party around you. He was always wanting to do more.

I met Charles his first year of college when I went down to my old room to see who had taken it over. We invited him to join our beginning of the year party. A family was instantly born. Needless to say, we pretty much partied almost every weekend. When it was his second year, Charles went down to meet the guy who had taken over his & mine old dorm room. He walked in as if he knew the guy his entire life and invited him to join our family. He was always wanting to do more.

When he enlisted, he had a good job, a beautiful fiance, a nice home, and a great future. Still, he wanted to do more. When asked why he enlisted despite having everything going great for him, he replied that he couldn't stand the thought of some other guy enlisting with a wife and kids. That, folks, was the type of person Charles was. That is why these past few days have been so hard.

I've been trying to get a hold of our other friend who enlisted. He's in Louisiana training for Iraq. He'll be deployed in November. We are attempting to see if he could be pulled off the field for the funeral. He got the message last night. He called me and was crying. Then, all of the same emotions from the first day hit me again. He asked me to call his mom and to see if she could contact the Red Cross messenger to see if he could get a pass for the weekend to attend the funeral. I did that. Tonight is the wake. Tomorrow, the funeral. We're not sure if he's going to be able to make it in time. I'm not too upset if he can't make it. The reason is because he's training to survive. I've already lost one close friend. I don't want to lose another. Still, it would be nice to have him there.

As for me, I'm doing better. I have to. Today is Gwennie's 8th birthday. We're going to take her out to pick out a present. Then, we're throwing her a party.

Monday, August 13, 2007

R.I.P. Soldier

It is an extremely sad day in Houston. One of mine and Zelda's closest friends in the world was killed in Afghanistan.

Charles, (aka Carlos in my previous posts) I will always remember our drunken all nighter video game tournaments in the dorms. I will always remember that I met you because you took over my first dorm room and asked me, "Why the hell do we have an industrial strength roach bait in the bathroom?" I will always remember how fucking childish we were in college. I will always remember how you turned it around when you enlisted. I will always remember how proud we were of you before you left. I will always remember the pain we felt when we found out. I will always remember what you asked of me before you left. Sgt. Charles Kitowski III, We will remember you always, bro.

Rest in Peace

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Bullshitting around the office

The office was a little slow the other day. While we were doing paperwork, I was talking to our front desk and our massage therapist. Her husband (we'll call him Cooter) was involved in some funny ass shit when he was younger.

We'll start the story with a kid named Jay. Jay was known to smell funny around school because he was hesitant to shower in front of other people. He would never shower after gym.

Jay, Cooter, and a few friends started drinking one night and Jay passed out drunk. Cooter and the rest of the guys decided that it would be funny as hell to tie Jay up butt naked to the front end of his Jeep and drive around town.

They stripped Jay up and tied him to the front of the Jeep and started driving up to the drive thru windows of numerous all night fast food facilities. In fact, they circled 3 particular fast food chains 4 times.

Obviously, it wasn't long until flashing lights were right behind them. Cooter pulled over.


"Hi, uncle Bob."

"Why is there a nekkid boy on the front of your Jeep? You know what? I don't want to know. You git yer ass home and I'm callin' yer momma."


It's easily 15 miles back home since they're in the middle of Arkansas. Apparently, on the way back, there were times where Jay would come out of his drunken coma and start screaming. They could keep driving. He would continue to relapse into his drunken coma. This apparently happened all the way home.

The next morning, Cooter's mom woke him up early in the morning.

"Son, I was just woke up a few minutes ago. Why is there a nekkid boy tied to the front of yer Jeep screamin' for someone to cut him loose?"

They had driven all the way home and were too drunk to untie their own friend.

On the brighter side of things, since the entire town had now seen Jay naked, he no longer felt embarrassed to shower in front of others.