For you, Drew.

23 years old. Veteran. Musician. Son. Brother. Friend. Lover. Student. Hero. Role Model.

You, my friend, were taken too soon.

Today was rough, let me tell you. After the awkward small talk, and the observing from behind the safety of my sunglasses, your friends, your classmates, your family, we all got together and tried to celebrate you as best we could. So many people cried. You’re gone. You’re no longer on this earth. You just had your birthday 2 weeks ago! How did this happen? How were you so abruptly taken from your life, from your passion, from us?

Like many people touched on today, you were a kind soul. You were one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. You always had a smile on your face and somehow managed to bring on to everyone around you. Your laughter was infectious. Your kind heart and spirit cared for others and made sure they were okay before even you took care of yourself.

It’s unfair. After the drugs, after the raves, after the races, the drinking, the stupid shenanigans we got ourselves into, after two tours in Iraq– this is what got you? Your life was taken by some stranger in a truck that wasn’t paying attention and hit you as you were riding your bicycle? Why?

You will be missed. You, however, leave an imprint in this world, like no other. You’ve made marks on our hearts, on our lives. You will not be soon forgotten. I’m sorry I wasn’t around as much as I maybe should have been. I’m sorry we never got to go on a food-of-the-world adventure. I’m bummed we never got to travel and experience the world’s cuisines like we should have. I wish we would’ve hung out more. Thank you for inviting me to your show last summer. Thank you for including me in your welcome committee. Thank you for the laughs, for the good times. Thank you for the vivacity and the tenacity. Thank you for being an amazing human being. Thank you for bringing us together and for living your short 23 years of life, to their full extent.

I promise that I will taste the world like we had planned to do. I promise that I will do anything I can to help those that you left behind. I know I don’t have much to give, but know that I do it for you, for your legacy and for the remembrance and celebration of your life.

I love you, brother.

Save a seat next to the big guy for me and save me a plate up there. You know I’ll be hungry when we meet again.