March 7, 2006

Gone too soon - Curtis Howard, Soldier and Fellow Yahoo 360 blogger

Michigan Solider Dies in Iraq

Feb 24, 2006

An Army staff sergeant from Michigan has been killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, his family said in a statement. Curtis T. Howard II, 32, was on his second tour in Iraq as a member of the Army's 4th Infantry Division when the incident occurred.

The Army had not released details of Howard's death, but it said on Thursday that three 4th Infantry soldiers were killed Wednesday when their vehicle struck a bomb near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

Friends and family members gathered Thursday afternoon at the Ann Arbor home of Howard's parents, Curtis and Linda.
John Woods, a family friend, read a statement saying the family was devastated by Howard's death.

"Right now, it's all very hard to comprehend. Our hearts and prayers go out to other members of our son's unit, the 4th Infantry Division, who also made this ultimate sacrifice. Curtis loved the military. He was a wonderful son, father and brother. This was the career he chose. We certainly respect and honor his choice," Woods said.

The minister at Howard's church, Bethel AME, recently read a letter from Howard to the congregation, said Joetta Mial, former principal at Huron High School, from where Howard graduated in 1991.

"It was about a friend of his that was just killed and he wrote, `Say a prayer for his parents,"' said Mial, a church member. "I got the funniest feeling. It was, `My gosh. I hope he hurries up and gets home,"' Mial told The Ann Arbor News.

Edward Klum, an assistant coach when Howard played on Huron's basketball team, remembered Howard taking responsibility for a loss in a big game.

"Right after the game, he came up to me and said, `Coach. I didn't play hard enough,"' Klum said. "That's just the kind of kid he was."

For those who are famalier with YAHOO 360, this person was Yahoo ID: therealist73

We would Yahoo IM from time to time and and even had the pleasure of speaking with him for a short while. I remember I was fussing about my cellphone bill wondering how much the phonecall was going to cost. But in the end I gave him my number so he could call. We were able to talk for about 3o minutes and I just remember that brotha sounded good;) He told me couldn't wait to get back home to his family and he missed them terribly. I told him about myself and just bantered back and forth. Sometimes we IM'd each other because it wasn't easy for him to use the phone.

This morning I didn't find out about his death until I read a message from a fellow Yahoo 360 person and I was just hoping it was a sick joke. So I googled a search "Army Curtis Howard", I clicked on the first link that I saw and sure enough his beautiful brown eyes with the face to match was the same as his Yahoo 360 pics staring right back at me. I read the article as tears ran down my face. I just shook my head and thought nothing is guaranteed in life.

The first thought that popped into my mind was Michael Jackson's song "Gone too Soon"

Like A Comet
Blazing 'Cross The Evening Sky
Gone Too Soon

Like A Rainbow
Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon

Shiny And Sparkly
And Splendidly Bright
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like The Loss Of Sunlight
On A Cloudy Afternoon
Gone Too Soon

Like A Castle
Built Upon A Sandy Beach
Gone Too Soon

Like A Perfect Flower
That Is Just Beyond Your Reach
Gone Too Soon

Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like A Sunset
Dying With The Rising Of The Moon
Gone Too Soon

Gone Too Soon
Quote from Shakespeare "Good night, sweet prince, And may the flight of angels take thee to thy eternal rest."
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