Monday, August 1, 2011
Bret with classmate and classmate's son
This is a picture Bret sent in mid July. It is him, a classmate and a classmate's son (who looks just like the cadet I met 35 years ago!). This LT had been at a rugged FOB (Forward operating base) for 4 months with no shower and no contact with his family and they had engaged the enemy every single day. At this point there had been no serious casualties. The LT was back at KAF for a couple days of training/briefings. Bret saw him again this past weekend (July 30) but he was back for a much different reason. The day he returned to his FOB, 4 soldiers were killed by 3 separate IED's (improvised explosive device). His First Sergeant, the senior enlisted man in the company (a company has about 120 soldiers) was one of the men killed. This kid was back inventorying the Sgt's possessions, turning in his weapons, etc. When Bret saw him, Bret was with a recently retired Army NCO (non-commissioned officer.. as in private, Sergeant, etc. vs an officer-Lt, Captain, Major, Colonel). They were able to talk about 40 minutes which is really important for these young guys. The NCO told the LT that he had been in the Army for 12 years before he went to Iraq in 2003 (the first wave) and THAT'S when he became a soldier. Bret is also able to contact his parents and let him know he is doing well under the circumstances. I am so grateful that they were able to connect.