Requiem to Toz, an American SF Soldier
(Taken from another military forum) :
Requiem to Toz, SF
From Los Angles Times, 11/17. Quoted in part due to length.
Rounds of sadness and joy
Before he died in Iraq, 'Toz' had an order for his Green Berets: Attend my Arlington burial, then take this $100,000 for a party in Las Vegas.
By Bob Sipchen, Times Staff Writer
November 17, 2006
SHORTLY after Jeffrey "Toz" Toczylowski's last mission in Iraq a year ago this month, friends received a message.
"If you are getting this e-mail, it means that I have passed away," the missive said. "No, it's not a sick Toz joke, but a letter I wanted to write in case this happened."
The Army Special Forces captain, 30, said he would like family and friends to attend his burial at Arlington National Cemetery, "but understand if you can't make it." The message, distributed by a fellow Green Beret after Toczylowski's family had been notified of his death, added this: "There will also be a party in Vegas with a 100k to help pay for travel, room and a party."
Last Saturday afternoon, Jeffrey's mother, Peggy, hustled about Las Vegas' Palms Hotel and Casino, making final arrangements for a bash that drew family and childhood friends from her son's hometown in suburban Pennsylvania, young men and women from his days at Texas A&M, and comrades in arms who had bonded with "Toz" on missions they could not discuss with civilians.
By 7 p.m., the last of 120 or so invited guests were offering hotel bouncers the password and trooping into the Palms' 10,000-square-foot "Hardwood" entertainment suite.
Two young women in skimpy outfits poured liquor from the fully stocked bar. DJs blasted rock and rap from a loft decked out with a pool table, a wide-screen video game console and a circular love seat with remote controls that rotate it out of view.
A limbo contest erupted. With help from soldiers from the Special Forces base near Stuttgart, Germany, a full-size cutout of Toczylowski in red flight suit appeared to hold the pole while a long line of partyers wobbled underneath.
On Nov. 3, a string of Blackhawk helicopters had been roaring across the desert on a nighttime counterinsurgency raid, carrying Special Forces soldiers to hunt high-value bad guys who had been making improvised explosive devices.
Flying over the desert at night is as disorienting as flying over a black ocean. Toz believed that the helicopter had touched down. He stepped out. It was more than 100 feet off the ground and thundering ahead at 100 mph.
(GB's comment: The Captain's wake was what I would call a helluva an SF wake! I salute you Captain ... RIP._
De Oppresso Liber - RLTW
"To make war upon rebellion is messy and slow, like eating soup with a knife" -TE Lawrence.