dear pat,

1 Oct

dear pat,

today you would have turned 26 years old. your beautiful wife probably would have taken you out to a nice dinner, and you would have talked about your big plans for the weekend. i know savannah’s beautiful this time of year. your mom and dad and sister would have told you that they love you, and made you smile. your facebook wall would have looked the same as it does today, but everyone’s post wouldn’t end with “missing you.”

i miss you pat, and happy birthday

it’s hard for me to believe that it has been almost a whole year since you sacrificed your life for your friend in afghanistan. it’s even harder for me to believe that just ten years ago, we were celebrating your sixteenth birthday at your home as a pirate themed murder mystery. your mommy and mrs. magnin were the “wenches” that served our big dinner and took many photos (which i have always cherished, but have a whole new meaning now) and watched us laugh at each other, and probably laughed at our young, awkward selves trying not to brush knees or hold a gaze too long.


there’s me at the head of the table, with the curly brown hair. you’re there just to my left. you were the one who i first held hands with, you were the one who would break up a tense situation with a loud laugh and throw your arm around my shoulders, you were the first boy in my life to say “i think women should wear less makeup” (haha), and you introduced me to CKY (“close yet far” was one of the first songs my fiance and i shared, so i thank you for showing it to me <3 ). i still remember that white and black checkered wrist band you would wear every day, no matter the outfit haha. your plaid scarf. that beanie.

soon, i moved away, and we didn’t speak as much, but there was always a friendship.

now, with your black KIA bracelet on my wrist every day as i put on my uniform, i talk to you so much more now than i did the past few years. it’s to you i direct my daily monologue. i strive every day to be as selfless you were, especially on the last day of your life. i want to be the leader that you were for your soldiers, carry on your legacy. granted, the army has it that i can’t be a ranger, but i can lead with the love and humor i know you did.

i wish we had stayed closer, but i loved following your life from my computer screen. you were noble, young, and wild – with a huge heart that lives on in all of us. i’m so glad that i got to be part of your life.

i miss you pat, and happy birthday.



One Response to “dear pat,”

  1. Marilyn Niernberger October 11, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    Annie, what a beautiful tribute to Pat letting all know what a true” Mench” he really was and that man one can call a “hero”! Your words make me feel as though I knew him. Thank you Pat!

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