I will never forget the call I got from Butch late one night: Bill, Georgie and I are with Christina at her house. She just got a call that Kyle has been seriously wounded. We don't have a lot of details. Can you come over?
Kyle, an exceptional young Special Ops Ranger and good friend, lingered in the shadow of death after a car bomb detonated at a checkpoint. Three of his buddies were killed instantly, and shrapnel shredded Kyle to ribbons. His body armor provided just enough protection, so that after weeks of recuperation and rehabilitation he emerged from the shadows and numerous surgeries back to health. He is a daddy now living in Ohio with his beautiful wife. A story book ending.
This morning my cell phone rang, and I saw that it was an incoming call from a good friend. Hello DC! I said, expecting to hear her customary response, Hello BS! But there was not the usual playfulness in her voice.
Hey, what's going on?
Her broken voice responded, It's not good news . . . Adam Snyder was killed along with two others from his platoon. Their Humvee hit an IED (improvised explosive device).
I felt my heart sink and my eyes fill with tears. I searched for words and the ones that came out alternated between gasping prayers and cussing (Just as an aside, I don't trust people who say they never cuss).
After the phone conversation ended, Adam's last conversation with me came back. I can see him sitting across from me -- sharp, West Point trained, well over 6 feet tall, and a physique like it had been chiseled out of granite. He had already done one tour in Iraq, and he wanted me to pray with him after he explained how he had found a way to get back to Iraq to be with his platoon. At one point he looked down at the floor and uttered some serious and ominous words: I can't leave my guys over there. I've got to get back to them. If my guys die. . . we all die together. Anyone that knew Adam also knew that he was not a grand stander. Or glory seeker. He was quiet. He was the real deal.
DC told me that Adam was the last of his Ranger platoon to die. En route to Germany, burned over sixty-five percent of his body, Adam breathed his last breath.