emerged tall, lean, and muscular. As he walked away from
the hefty five ton vehicle, he had a swagger that was cool but
not conceited or arrogant.," I don't know how these trucks
keep getting so dirty." He rolled his eyes, "All it is doing is
raining." When it was monsoon season, we all really hated it.
Who would have known that a Hawaiian paradise could
be cursed with such a violent seasonal downpour? At the end
of the day, he smelled of grease, diesel, sweat, and dirt like the
rest of us. Before work, you would always see him in his regulation
winter green fatigues all perfectly starched and creased. His black
boots were so shiny that you could see your face in them.
No matter what job needed to be done, he was not the type to
procrastinate. He always found a way to help unless he was gone
from the motor-pool on another commitment. He was one of the
few guys that actually could be a friend with no strings attached.
Most other guys had always tried inappropriate touching with all
the female drivers.
If James saw that you were sad, he would walk up and sweet
talk you into a smile but never crossed the line. He was six foot
four, his eyes were a copper brown that blended perfectly with his
smooth caramel skin. He was light on his feet and always seemed to
have a rhythm in his head as he hummed along his way. Like the rest of us,
he loved to travel. We never knew where or when we were going
to leave, but he always made sure to bring his jazz tunes.
He always strived for the best. He was never condescending to
others but barely getting by in anything he did would never be good
enough. I'd say the most loving thing he ever did, was when he was in
the Persian Gulf War. Many gave their lives, and it was their ultimate
sacrifice for us;but what he did for me was so sentimental that I'll never
James and I followed each other from Ft. Dix to Saudi Arabia until
we got separated into different companies. The air was smoky with the
all oil fires going on around us. Before he left, he lovingly grabbed me
and gently held me close as a tear rolled down his puffy cheek,
"I know you miss your baby boy. Do me a favor and stick with the
brother's, they will keep you safe and get you back to your son.
We came here together, and we will return home together. That was the
very last time I heard his voice or saw his friendly face. He gave his life for
Dedicated to James,
I miss you man.