PFC Michael W. Pyron
It’s been a surreal couple of days here. News started filtering in on Facebook about a “PFC Pyron” who was killed in Afghanistan. At first, I thought it was someone a few of the people I went to AIT with went to Basic with… until some of the people *I* went to Basic with started mentioning it. So I thought to myself, “That name sounds kind of familiar, maybe it’s from AIT.” After a lot of thinking and trying to figure out who he was, I started getting some vague images of a heavier set guy who had blondish hair and laughed a lot. I also remembered a wife and at least one kid and seeing them around the barracks at Gordon, at the picnic tables and whatnot. Then someone finally had a link with Pyron’s military mug-shot on it and yep, I was right. I could only help but think, “Damn, that dude’s been in the Army less than 2 years now. *AND* he’s got a wife and kids.”
But it gets crazier.
He’s from Hopewell, Virginia. Easily within 20-30 minutes of my family in Richmond. One of the articles even says something about how the death was “accidental” and that there’s an ongoing investigation into what happened. So how crazy is that? A man goes into the Army to try and take care of his family, he’s in less than two years, gets deployed fresh out of training and dies because of an “accident.” (The actual wording in the article is the he died as a result of a “non-combat injury”).
There are pictures of his remains being returned to the states, at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Which made it extra crazy at Lunch when I was eating and they showed video footage of the ceremony at Dover held on Thursday (the 12th) and knowing that I knew one of the bodies there. Just kind of crazy.
I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t really know the guy. I just kind of saw him around while I was at AIT. That doesn’t make it any less crazy. My condolences to all the people who actually did get the chance to become friends with him, especially his classmates. I’m not sure there are words to put to any sort of condolences for his wife and kids. I just hope there is some kind of non-stupid explanation to what happened. Something that will even begin to make sense of this, to give some kind of purpose to what happened to that family. I can’t imagine what they’re going through and quite frankly, I hope I never have to.