Another hero is gone: Farewell to the colonel

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Words do not flow as in prose at such times as these. Rather, my thoughts fall from my mind in random shapes and sizes that must combine as a picture puzzle, but all I see right now is broken.

Peachtree City and the United States lost another hero last week to the wars in Iraq. Out of respect to his wife left behind, I’ll not identify this man here but those who knew him know of whom I write.

Our PTC neighbor lived through not only the combat of Operation Iraqi Freedom, through the burden of leadership at such times, but also through the IED that nearly took his life then and may have ultimately succeeded in taking his life last week.

I cannot fathom the depths to which one must fall when that thought of the End being preferable to the Now becomes action. But, I for one will not judge the final act but rather praise a life spent in service to a nation. If you harbor ill thoughts about the means or the location of the desperate act, please keep in mind a family left behind.

This hero was an acquaintance of mine; we were friendly but not close friends. I enjoyed sharing a meal and a few beers with him or watching a show at The Fred with our concert “gang.” We had common life experiences but many more that were not common; makes for good conversation. We spoke of PTSD and dealing, but I never for one second understood that the Darkness was still chasing him.

What can one say at such times? Our prayers and thoughts are with those left behind. I’m glad that I knew this fellow for the short time that our paths crossed. I am blessed with a wife and friends who host gatherings so that our paths did cross and I hope that those of us still here walk along ever closer paths.

Rest in peace, Colonel. It was an honor knowing you.

The random pieces lay before me. I wish I understood the puzzle.

Alan Felts
Peachtree City, Ga.