April 4th is my friends birthday. Andrew. He is in the above video. I was happy to find it was the first result when I searched Google for the Boise River Volunteers pictures that were taken by the Statesman. Thank you Chris for putting it together.
He is someone that I have known since I was 15. We worked at McDonalds together. He was basically homeless and a dropout and I convinced him to go back to school. He did and we graduated together. He got married and shipped off to Iraq after 9-11, where he received a couple Purple Hearts along with some other hero awards. We got divorced our spouses around the same time. Our children are just about the same ages. He came back from Iraq and I was the ONLY person who went to welcome him back home after his deployment. I introduced him to my BFF from High School at our 10 year reunion. They hit it off and got married. They did eventually get divorced. And he eventually committed suicide last year. April 4th he would have been 35.
Looking back at the emails that I have saved from 2004 (and those from then, my email won’t let me open them. They are the ones with pictures from him in Iraq), I got this message quite a few times in our 17 years that we knew each other.
Well let’s see, I’m an ass and I hate what my lifes become. Your the only person in my life that has ever understood me much less your the only person that has sacrificed yourself for me. I am trying to say I am an idiot and just don’t know what to do anymore.
Always an I’m Sorry For Hurting You email.
You always knew that you were an ass and did asshole things. And you couldn’t stop yourself, but I always had faith in that you could change. You always came to me when you needed sane stability. I was easily found and willing to be there for you.
And now, I am sorry. Andrew, I think about you every day. I always think that I see you on campus or driving by. I cried everyday, constantly for 2 weeks after you died, and I didn’t why I was crying. I just cried all the time. Serious. Taking a box to Kleenex to work and crying everywhere I went. Sort of like when that IED got you in Iraq, I FELT when you got hurt that day and I didn’t know why until you told me what happened later that night and not to worry. I still never got the whole story on that.
I just happened to be driving and saw your Celebration Of Life sign on the corner of Terry’s. I was angry. Why didn’t anyone let ME know. I thought I would have gotten a Goodbye email or text or facebook message.
That is why I am so angry at you, Andrew. Why didn’t you come to me for this when you ALWAYS came to me?
I know that suicide is what he wanted. He wanted to do it while he was in Iraq when he got hit with divorce papers. He wanted to do it when he got back. Not just because of PTSD (which he did have very badly) but because of other personal reasons stemming from childhood. He was always living on the edge and very reckless. Always seeing how far he could push the limit with everything.
I know that for some, suicide is the answer. Just don’t think that it is the only answer to your problems.