Dank was younger than me, yet I looked up to him. I knew if I could do it all over. I would parallel his current walk. I only knew Dank six months of my then young and full of 22 years of life, yet I knew him as my brother.
I left Fort Polk in November of 2000. I never spoke to Dank again. He remained my brother. When I was retired out in 2008, I thought of Dank often. In 2010, I was informed Dank, my brother, Staff Sergeant Sanders had given his life for the Country. It cut me deep. It cut deeper than the blood flowing through my veins.
In June or July of 2000 SSG (P) (at the time) Myles took over 3rd platoon, Dank said to me, "It is time to soldier now, Randall." For those last 4-5 months of my time stationed at Fort Polk, Dank and I had a friendly competition of soldering. I often wish I could have taken Dank with me throughout the rest of my military career. I am positive. I would have been a better soldier.
I have meet a lot of people along my journey. However, Dank has always stood alone. At a time in my life when I had no understanding of home, soldiering, and/or better, I met a brother in an Army uniform who told me I could call him Dank. It is hard to forget the day you encountered a hero.