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Location: Montgomery Area, Alabama, United States

Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Matt, Zachary, and Lyle

I deeply regret that I missed this comment when it was posted [it refers to this post]:

"I have just read the account of Zach's passing. I knew Lyle in High School. He and I shared my great times together. He was like my brother. After he got out of the Air Force we lost track of each other. It is with incredible sadness that I read this about his son. This should never have to happen to a parent and especially to someone as great as Lyle and Lois. I know it has been almost two years but now my heart breaks anew for both of them. I hope that they find peace in their lives. Lyle - Know that I pray for you and Lois and Zach.
Sincerely, Matt"

Matt posted this on 23 Sep 08. I am an idiot - I let Vita ab Alto languish for over a year, not posting or even checking comments, so I missed this when it came in. Matt, if you ever see this, I apologize.

Lyle was best man at my wedding to Karen Annie Sweetheart. We spent many years together in the Air Force, helping define the term "nerd" in ways that are approached only in places like Step Brothers (in fact, we wore NVGs together, but it was purely professional, I assure you) or Napoleon Dynamite (I seem to remember something like a Liger in one of Lyle's D&D games...) We had some pretty unique experiences, too: On one of the several TDYs I concocted to the Sacramento area as an excuse to visit KANH before we got married, Lyle volunteered as my copilot. His family was in Yuba City, so it was a win-win. However, we were both so familiar with the drive from Reno NV to Sacramento that, when we passed Reno VORTAC, we convinced ourselves that we had a good two hours before landing. Of course, it takes about a tenth of the time to fly the distance in a B-52 as it does to drive it... I think I got the flaps to 100% about midway down McClellan's runway and I think Lyle was still apologizing to Sac Approach on rollout. We (and the rest of the crew) walked away safely, nonetheless.

I, too, began to lose contact after Lyle and I left active duty. I'd heard nothing for almost a year before Zach's death. Of course, that was the time that the Sisson's were dealing with the final staqes of his disease.

I remember Lyle telling me about Matt many times, and once, when on one of those Sac TDYs, Lyle tried to link us up, but we weren't able to make it work. Nonetheless, I feel like I've met Matt and I regret that he, too, has lost contact with the Sissons.

I hope that both Matt and Lyle will see this some day. I, too, hope that Lyle and Lois have found peace in their lives and I pray for them frequently. I hope that Lyle and Lois will reappear someday and initiate contact with us and with Matt...

Maybe this Christmas season will see a change...


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