Hey All, Think back and I'm sure that there are events you wish you could change. I know that that this is especially true for me.
In early 1981, I was assigned to HHC 3rd Brigade at Ft Lewis, Washington State. This was just below Seattle and was a new assignment for me at this Military Post. I had been reassigned from HHC 2/47th Infantry Battalion. I had left friends but, fortunately they were only 100 hundred yards away. Rick was one of these friends. He had the rank of SP4 and was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was married to Korean woman and she was 8 months pregnant with their child. They lived off post in an apartment just around the corner from an apartment that I shared with Mike, who was a motorpool mechanic at my last assignment. Rick liked a good time like anyone else and attended parties we had hosted from time to time.
He had knocked on the door one Saturday and asked to borrow money until payday. He needed to fix his car brakes for inspection. I lent him the 20 bucks he needed and he went on his way. A few days later, he was back with a friend who had turned 21 and he wanted to take him out to celebrate. He wanted tomorrow another 20 bucks until payday, which I obliged. The next morning we were up at 4:45 AM getting ready to report for formation of the troops. There was an knock at the door and my former Company Commander and 1st Sergeant were at the door. They had bad news........................Rick was killed in a car accident.................the details were even worse. I knew that Rick was a prejudiced man against African Americans. We carpooled to work and he would make comments about them as we passed a black person along the road..............That's 10 points he would say and swerve towards them. Rick and his buddy had been out drinking............on their way back there was a black man walking along the road and Rick ran him over and ended dragging him to decapitation. In fleeing the scene at high speed, he took a long curve over a railroad bridge and lost control and went over the railing onto the tracks. Rick was ejected and the car landed on top of him, the friend survived but was in ICU for a while. The murdered man was from 2/2nd Infantry........a sister Battalion in 3rd Brigade. Rick had a son that he never saw and I felt a little guilty for lending him the money. I know that everybody sins........................and will pay for those sins, sometimes without hesitation. I also realize that although I aided in his outing with a friend..........that I didn't have a part in his actions. Rick had good qualities...................but whatever was in his heart that directed his actions that night, left a great deal of heartbreak for the family of the man he murdered and for the wife and son he left behind. I will be sorry for their pain as long as I live.
Until Next Time.................................God Bless.