Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sendoff to a friend re-deployed overseas

There are days, weeks, and even perhaps months that the war on terror probably slips our minds or gets put on the back burner of our lives. Unfortunately, there are many people that this same war affects every day or has affected permanently.

This week a friend of mine prepares to go active back to duty and defend our freedom. He will be leaving for training and then shipped off with a bunch more men and women to a destination unknown.


Before Duane gets on a plane and travels away from his family and friends for who knows how long and to who knows where, I want to share with you how special this person is and give him a send off he won’t soon forget.

There are those people you meet who pass through your life in a fleeting moment, then there are those who do not pass through, but stick around for the long haul and become real friends, and later something more, they become family. Duane is that friend in my life. He has been there for the long haul, through thick and thin, good and bad, laughter and crying.

You see, Duane is a friend who for whatever reason fate deigned to be my guardian. Duane is the one man besides my father who has been a constant in my life, a significant influence, and the person who has an invisible link to me that can never be broken.


He is the person in my life when shit hits the fan he is somehow there scooping up the mess and putting the pieces back together. Of course, he does also contribute to that shit storm as well. Let me share a couple of examples.

I met Duane when I was fifteen when we both played soccer for our high school teams. We both looked a lot different then, but I always looked better. One night he and I went on a double-date with my parents to dinner.

Picture Duane and me sitting next to each other in a booth with my parents sitting across from us. Naturally, we should have been nervous, but my folks are cool and they had met Duane on several occasions prior to this dinner date, so no big deal, right?

Wrong!

My father waits until after the waitress takes our order and then goes for the kill. He leans in with his elbows on the table, his fingers tapping together in a teepee shape and says, “What are your intentions toward my daughter?”

Of course, I am flabbergasted, mouth hanging open, and saying in a whiney voice that I do not possess, “Da-ad.”

My mom sits back and smiles.

Then you have Duane or as most people refer to him Dewey. Dewey leans back, wraps his arm over my shoulder and says, “Well, sir, I plan on doing her every chance I get.”

That one sentence, while mortifying to me, ingratiated Duane into the bosom of my family from that day forward.


When I got divorced, Duane was the first person I told, albeit through email at the time since he was overseas. The first opportunity Duane had he called my parents and blabbed.

My mother responded to this shocking news by saying, “She what?”

Shortly after that call, my friend Duane calls me. I answer the phone and the first words out of his mouth were, “I can’t believe you didn’t tell mom and dad you got a divorce!”

I answer, “I can’t believe you told them!”


Duane is also the person who has this uncanny knack for showing up when I least expect it. Let me show you how.

One Saturday night when I was in college and out dancing with some friends I step out of the ladies’ room and who do I quite literally bump into? Duane!

This is significant because at the time I was living in Virginia, he was stationed in Texas, and we ran into each other in DC. I mean seriously, just how many times does that happen?



The weekend I bought my home, Duane called me stating that he was back and in DC. I told him, “Fly your butt up here and see my house.”

He had no clue I was buying a house. He flew up that day and the next morning Duane was the first person to see my new home. He was in half the photos I took of the house to send to my family so they could see…my house, not him.



Duane is the man who showed up at my father’s 60th birthday party as a surprise and turned my father speechless for the first time ever in his life. I’m telling you it does a woman good to see two of her favorite men turn to mush, even if they try to hide the tears by swiping at them and saying, “It must be the hot wings.”


Even now when I send Duane a text message that says nothing more than “Call me,” I know that the minute he can, he will.

Duane ~

While I love and adore you as a longtime friend, I respect and admire you for your courage, compassion, and dedication to keep my family, friends, and every other American safe. I applaud your bravery to stand the wall and fight for our freedoms.

Please know that for every day, hour, and minute that you are gone, you will be missed. You will be in my heart and in mind every day until you return home safe and sound.

Come home soon!

Love ya,
Denise



Duane,

You do know that Mom and I dearly love you and that the door is always open for you. As you might expect, we will worry about you in your absence, but we understand that what you are doing is extremely important for the freedom that has only been provided by our soldiers, you being one of them.

We will be thinking of you and praying that you will be returning someday soon to pay us the long overdue visit.

You have made us proud of your accomplishments while you have been in harm’s way.

Love ya,
Dad & Mom

6 comments:

Dewey January 26, 2011 at 10:40 AM  

I don't know whether I should kick you buttocks, throw more shite at your fan or thank you. Thanks Nisey. I'm quite sure I was never that much of a smartass to tell you Dad I was gonna do you. Okay, maybe I was/am. He should've kicked my assss.

Dewey January 26, 2011 at 10:43 AM  

To Dad and Mom, thanks for your kind words. I know I owe you a visit. I figure my only chance to beat Dad on the golf course is to wait until he can barely swing a club - once you start shooting in the mid-80's. I did receive Mom's homemade gift for Christmas - Thanks Ma.

Denise January 26, 2011 at 12:45 PM  

Mom - What did you make him??

I want one!

Anonymous January 26, 2011 at 2:29 PM  
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous January 26, 2011 at 4:05 PM  

Dewey,

I am at a loss of what to say. You are a family member to us even if we don't alway speak. I can only say that I whish you the very best and hope that you come back very soon. We want you back safe and sound. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you until you return to us safely.

Thank you for all you do for me, my family, friends and this country. Without you and our troops we could not have the freedom we have today and for that I want to say thank you!

Be safe and we love you!
Bean

Dad January 27, 2011 at 5:37 AM  

Dewey,

I'm already spotting you 25 years, and you still want strokes? Have you no respect for your elders?

I'll give you 3 strokes a side.

Love ya,
Dad

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