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On the aniversary of my best friend ever pasing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Kokopelli, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Schütze

    Aug 17, 2011
    About this time in 1988 (my mind refused to record the actual date) I lost my best friend ever to PTSD followed by agent orange induced cancer. Jim's job was to mix and load the barrels for spraying over the Laotian border. He flew some missions as systems specialist and/or replacing a drunken "airman". We were back in East Tennessee by 74 and enrolled in electronic school (adult education) for an associates degree in Industrial Electronics. Our Gunny Sargent Tony Hurley was our instructor and we had a hell of a time over in the projects with all the black kids.. My VW van was shot full of holes as were others were.. Anyhow we made it out in 76 and started working for the university of Tennessee; I stayed and Jim went back to school and eventually to the postal service. Around 1978 Jim came back to work for me at UTK (we were Engineering Techs.) until an bicycle accident laid him up for a while. He then went to work for the postal service and was very happy, but didn't try to up his game at all.. He played it low key and never played the system. I asked him about that one day and he told me they had found cancer after the bicycle wreak and gave him a fife year window to live. If he made it five years without a relapse, he might be GTG for 30 more years. He showed me the mole removal spot on his back and you could have hid a suacer in the there.

    The postal job fit him to a tee.. Short pants and plastic hat.. he was in heaven.. That was during the early 80's and he would come over to my trailer and we would shoot back on the farm. He spent every weekend helping me set up sewer, water and electricity for a new house in the coldest winter we've ever had here (82-82) for the entire winter.

    Well after my son was born in 83 Jim branched out and hooked up with other friends, but still connected with me every few weeks for a sleepover and a shooting match.

    One time he told me about the cancer, he had never told me about it before, and that it had returned just before the five year window to call him clear had ended. They did radiation and chemo and gave him about six extra mouths of life...

    Here he is on his birthday and Christmas at my folks house.. I forget the chronology..

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    This is after the treatments when he has a brief (month or two) of normalcy

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    This is a couple of weeks before the end. Hew was back in his apartment and I stopped by several times weekly.

    [​IMG]

    He died shortly after this pic...

    My best friend ever....
    James Hayden Cash
    1953-1988
    Semper Fi.... Jim
    It's Rasta Ron bringing it to-ya free and clear..
     
  2. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Sad story. My father flew O1Es in nam 67. Said he would come in covered in agent orange. Got lung cancer and blamed it on that stuff. Died in 87. I sure miss him.
     

  3. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Schütze

    Aug 17, 2011
    I'm sorry limb killer.. It's got to be tough to loose a father like that.. Ron
     
  4. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Schütze

    Aug 17, 2011
    Jim was like the pony man... and every time i hear I think about Jim... He'd come unexpected and you never knew what he would be driving. He'd have all sorts of goodies and we'd be out for the night driving from friend to friend, usually during a snow storm..

     
  5. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Thanks and sorry for your loss. I don't have heroes or worship movie stars, athletes or anybody else on the planet. Have great respect for some but no worship. He was my only hero. My best friend got leukemia and did a bone marrow transplant 4 yrs. ago. So far so good. Still takes 20 pills a day and has no tear drop production. Uses special eye drops.
     
  6. TexasRedneck

    TexasRedneck Member

    181
    Sep 19, 2011
    Losing a good friend is hard...lost mine 20 years ago. Dear, dear friend - we spent many a happy week hunting and just knocking about. One could start a sentence and the other finish it for him, and I know there'll never be another like him. I cried like a baby when he was killed on his own ranch by drug runners, shot down in the prime of his life, never to see his grandchildren....
     
  7. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Schütze

    Aug 17, 2011
    Jim was my best friend ever.. I cried a lot.. then again.. and now, He was never married, had kids or the stuff that 30 years old would do. I learned later that he knew he had to make it so far to have may hope of making a life.. he didn't want to be a burden to anybody and he wasn't ever.. Ron

    I'm sorry for your loss Texas.. Makes me want to clean house.. Texicans are close to Tennesseans and vice versa.. More so that any two other states. We're linked by history and heredity. We think alike and enjoy the same things.. Ron
     
  8. IraG2362

    IraG2362 Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    807
    Sep 3, 2011
    sorry for your loss pal.. I am sure is in a better place.
     
  9. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Damn TR what a way to lose a friend. Sorry for your loss.
     
  10. Kokopelli

    Kokopelli Schütze

    Aug 17, 2011
    Thanks for the sentiment guys... That's a tough one too TR.. Chin up ole boy.. We need to press on.. Ron
     
  11. TexasRedneck

    TexasRedneck Member

    181
    Sep 19, 2011
    Yeah - guess the main thing is, as long as we remember 'em, they're still with us. Dunno which way is worse - sudden or over time. Had to be really tough to watch him slowly slip away on you.....

    But like I said - long as we remember 'em, they're still with us - and hey, bet they're gonna have us a nice place waitin' when it's our turn, eh?
     
  12. Gunshine

    Gunshine New Member

    56
    Aug 29, 2011
    You have told a story much too familiar to me. Frankly I wish I hadn't read it. I can't help but wonder how many more of these stories will be told. The current generation remembering friends who lost limbs in Iraq or Afghanistan. The next generation and Iran perhaps. My war,their war.
     
  13. Trent

    Trent Site Founder Staff Member Admin

    Aug 15, 2011
    I am sorry to hear of your loss, and yours too TR. I have lost a few friends in my life. It is a terrible feeling and ordeal.
     

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