Sunday, August 17, 2008

From Greg Ulibarri, Mike's Army Escort

Greg was the representative from the Army who escorted Mike's body back from Texas to Minnesota and stayed with us until the funeral was over. I can only imagine what a difficult job it would be to deliver a lifeless soldier to his family, but Greg certainly fit the bill--he was such a class act, he was professional yet personable, and we loved him for what he did for us. We never heard from Greg again...until last month when I finally tracked him down in Germany! Here's one of his messages...

I know already that you, Chris, your Mom and Dad were all wonderful to me during what I could only imagine was a difficult time. I was part of the Vulcan section where Mike worked. When the accident happened, I was selected to identify and escort him home. This was one of the most painful and memorable points in my career. I can truly say that I have often thought about Mike, his family and that trip to Minnesota. I spoke of him often to other troops and friends about how quickly life can be cut short.

I cannot recall specifics but I can tell you this, one thing I could do fairly well was read people. Mike was a very dynamic individual, he was personable, energetic and not afraid to learn and excel. All excellent traits for the Army. I could tell in a very short time that he would go very far in the Army. He was a natural leader and his enthusiasum was infectious. It was because of all these qualities he was in New Mexico. At the time the Army was testing the new modifications to the Vulcan. The Vulcan was being modified into the PIVADS system. In preparation for the modification we chose Mike to go to New Mexico and get training on the new system. The Army believes in a train the trainer environment so you see Mike was selected to be trained and then come back and train us. He was a Great Soldier. A Great American.

Take Care and God Bless,

Here's a picture of Greg and his family including his parents, his wife, children and two grand children! Greg is the 4th one from the left.

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