As a veteran I have had a lot of friends go on to Fiddlers green before. It never gets easier. As a civilian its a bit different.
You don’t have the bond that you get from the military. Sure you have drinks at folks houses, you talk about the kids but the struggles and traumas aren’t the same.
Storm chasing is different. You are pushed right up against the envelope in some of the most dangerous scenarios that mother nature has to offer. Me? I rarely if ever go out running them down. I readily admit I sit my happy ass in my comfortable office running radar scans and pulling information from multiple chasers over several states.
Andy made it fun. He made it interesting. He showed that chasers are professionals not only to each other but others as well and willing to give the shirt off his back to folks no matter the situation.
We lost Andy at the beginning of 2012. Killed less than 2 hours from my home by a drunk driver. In life as in war sometimes its the stupid things that get you killed. In this case it was a stupid person. Its often the things that seem most inconceivable, most unlikely that also do you in. Its not an artillery round, or a bomb vest, its a moron who doesn’t know how to say “Someone drive me home.” because at heart they are a mindless, simpleton coward.
It’s New Years Eve. I beg you be safe, be smart and be humble.
And remember those who have went before us, save a empty chair for them aye?
Bliain úr faoi shéan is faoi mhaise duit