The Eagle's Nest  

      It was the longest night, the shortest day in December 2003 as winter set-in in Iraq.  Christmas and New years had just passed when we got our first e-mail messages from Mike.  Mike never knew that he was in the winter of his life, A Winter In Iraq.  Those e-mail messages to his family and to his friends became his memoirs.  We all remember Mike as an ambitious, adventurous, witty and humorous but always focused on the events at hand, always having an objective view of plans for his future. 

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Another Memorial to Michael

I think about you every day Mike. 
The day you were hit I had been in Europe, having left Iraq a week before. 
Some mutual friends had contacted me and told me you were in the hospital, and that your convoy had been hit by an IED. 

It still hurts me that I wasn't there to do something. I also feel guilty for having helped you get to Iraq. You were an inspiration to everyone that you came in contact with, and quite frankly I wish I were as good a person as you. After you died and I attended the funeral I went back to Iraq to try and get some sort of revenge and to heal the pain I felt in my heart. While I was there I always thought of you, and I thought by being there I would somehow right all the wrongs. The devil is still on my back, but I hope you will forgive me for not being there for you. You will always be in my prayers, and you will always inspire me to be a better man.
Clay B.


For so many months now I have pondered on this...what I could have said, what I could have done, but you hard ass, you are a true American, there aint nothing wrong with that and there aint nothin' that that would have turned you around, so what did we do, we supported you, everyday, every minute, we did our best; for you and our fellow Americans. You make all of us so proud my friend.

As I sit here alone, all the memorys we shared, the laughs, the smiles, the "good ol' monkey ass times" we had, I miss you dearly. A few weeks ago, Mark, Patrick and myself went out Albacore fishing, as usual we didnt catch shit. We had an awesome time and shared so many of your stories.

We had a little service for you and spread some of your ashes on the way into port. Today once again, Mark and I went out fishing, and you would, SON OF A GUN!!!!!! you would have never guessed it, Mark limited before me. We had a great time. Mike, we miss you dearly and will never forget the joy you brought us, you will always be with us.


Jeremy Kangas

Martinez, California



To kiss a broken destiny
the tenderness is shattered
to hold yourself in purity
lost what was once flattered

to hold security against the cold
tears of lonesome envy a cure
to treasure an empty hole
feels confusion over any fear

to scold days of cold
nights become surrendered lost souls
to store thoughts of bold
happiness lay down and grow old


Kris C Howard

Copyright 2004 Kris C Howard 

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