My friend Mike Rhodes sent me this information on his close friend, Nick Mason, who died serving his country in Iraq. I quote Mike's words here, and ask all readers to honor this fine young man.
Nick Mason 1984-2004
"Nick Mason was a soldier who gave his life in the service of his country. He was my friend in elementary school and I maintained that friendship up until graduation of high school. He enlisted in the National Guard and left for basic training only days after graduating. When I was in iraq during my second tour, I found out that my friend Nick had died. It was a horrible shock. Nick had been in a mess hall eating with his comrades when a suicide bomber blew himself up inside of the enclosure, killing nick and and 18 other U.S. Soldiers. This happened on December 21, My birthday is on the 22nd. The only thing worse then finding out that a friend of mine had died around my birthday, is the thought that the family was finding out around Christmas.
Nicholas Conan Mason should never ever be forgotten.This is all that I really have to tell. This is my experience of what happened."
Thanks, Mike. Well-said.
Further information about this fine man is available here: http://www.somegaveall.org/page.php?9