This is one of those skelitons I really do want to lay to rest. Look I know the whole story is pretty old by now. The simple fact that it is still out there, and that no one has printed anything contrary really bothers me. I want to make it very clear that Craig was NOT, I repeat very clearly NOT on 24 hour duty. Having talked to Willie-bo, who was if anything his best friend, he was trying to explain COP security, explaining that they had to maintain security 24 hours a day.
He was not going out on a 24 hour mission, and he HAD gotten sleep the night before. He was more awake than I was! I explained it all in "My Side". Here's what bothers me the most about it all. After this good man was killed by an EFP, he somehow became a rally cry for anti-war protests. HOW DARE THEY!?!? You have no idea what it was like reading that after he had died. It tore into me. I had already blamed myself for his death, and the fact that his family was in a way laying yet more blame, that self loathing seemed justified. You have no idea what that did to my self esteem. Worse it was not even a month later and Harrelson died.
James "Spanky" Harrelson. After Craig died I made an effort to get to know him. I felt guilty that I didn't know Craig as well as i would have liked, and even more guilty that the last thing I had said to him was "hurry up and die" in referance to company of heroes.
Harrelson was a truly gentle soul. His death, and the wounding of the four in that truck, cut into me even deeper. I blamed myself to no end. Hearing that Harrelson had been alive, and had burned to death. . . look I'm not Superman. In my mind I failed them. I became as depressed and it is only recently that I have started to forgive myself. I took the first step e-mailing Harrelson's Uncle. I want to apollagize somehow.
One of these days I will offer to tell Craig's family exactly what happened that day. I will give them the choice how much detail they want. I'd like to just leave it as "he died a hero". He died a better man than I. Harrelson, to having just turned 19. Better men there are not.