Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Dan Crabtree

Last Friday morning started off just any other Friday. After an early morning meeting I returned to my office and checked my voicemail. There was a message from my buddy Dan's brother, Bill, for me to call him. I knew something was wrong. I called Bill, and the news was news I never expected to hear: Dan, my oldest and one of my closest friends had been killed in action while serving in Iraq.

Dan and I have been friends since Dr. Denny's 5th grade class. We would spend the nights on the weekends playing war, laser tag, and any strategy game possible. One thing was clear to Dan, he wanted to be a soldier. Not just any soldier, he wanted to be a Green Beret. We would go on to do everything together: soccer, boy scounts, and find/cause trouble where ever possible. Dan and I were always together.

Dan entered the army during the summer before our senior year. We wrote letters while he was at basic training at Fort "Lost in the Woods." Dan and I went on to college after our graduation. He went to Akron, I went to Kent. We used to give each other a hard time about the two schools and their rivalry...even though Kent is better. I even attended classes at his school a few times. He still managed to get me in trouble at a school I was not even a student by getting me in an argument with one of his professors!

Dan, after graduation from Akron, would go on to become a police officer in our hometown. From there he moved to the City of Cuyahoga Falls. In the Falls, he was well respected and well liked by his fellow officers. Not a big surprise, Dan was a great guy. He would even go on to become a member of the SWAT team. Again, not a surprise either. Then it happened...he reenlisted and had a chance to finally reach his dream. He finally did it and was a proud member of the 19th Special Forces Group. He was a Green Beret.

Dan left behind his wife Kathy and a beautiful baby girl, Mallory. If you would like to help out in some way, you can make a donation by going to any First Merit bank.