Bay City, Michigan, U.S.A.
SFC, OEF CO A, 3rd BN, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne)
11/04/2014, Kunduz Province, Afghanistan
My brother was born on July 26, 1983. As a child he loved ninja turtles, Legos and of course picking on me! It was just the two of us growing up, we didn’t have any other siblings. In high school my brother worked at Ponderosa to fund his extravagant clothing and hobbies. He loved to play his bass guitar, and quite often I would come into his room and lay on his pile of dirty clothes behind his door, and we would make up silly songs together, or I would just watch him play. Michael also was involved in hockey, high school is where the interest began. At 17 years old he enlisted in the military and everything that came with it, came very naturally to him and he loved it.
He was deployed a total of 7 times, twice to Iraq and 5 times to Afghanistan – dying on his 5th deployment on November 14, 2014. Michael was married November 2012, but was quickly divorced, unfortunately I think distance played a hand in that. Michael owned 1 dog in his entire adult life. Her name was Adele, and he adored her. She was a boxer, with an amazing personality. She passed away in April 2014. Michael was in a relationship for 18 months prior to his death to a wonderful woman named Heather, she worked in Afghanistan with the USO so they were never far apart.
Michael loved board games, and for Christmas when I was 3 bought me a monopoly junior and insisted that I learned how to play right then. He never let me win, he never took it easy on me. Whenever we were together we were playing monopoly. He actually requested I put something in his casket that represented our relationship – and I put our 2 monopoly pieces in – the money bags (his) and the ship (mine). He was such a goofy person, he always tried to look at the positive and bright side of things. He literally as an adult was so focused on being happy, I don’t think I ever saw him upset or sad.
Michael was injured on his 4th deployment to Afghanistan and it was obvious in his actions – he would not be taking a day of his life from that point on for granted. He viewed every single day as an adventure, and was known for his infectious smile and easy going nature. He, unfortunately, did not have any children – but he has 3 nieces my children – the youngest being born just 11 days before he was killed. He loved being an uncle, and adored his nieces. Michael and I were the absolute best of friends and we had an amazing bond. I wish I would have known the last time we were together, I wish I would have soaked him up a little more.