I was in Japan, between July 2008 – November 2014, there was a Captain in the Army that was stationed there during the same time. One year he brought his mother to the Christmas party where I had cooked Kalua pork. He was a nice guy, I never had any problems with him. He rode a little moped around the base and work some whacky shirts. We would communicate, share jokes through e-mail, and sometimes at work I would go over to his desk and talk with him for a while. You know nothing close, but somebody I knew from work and stayed in touch with. He was forced out of the United States Army as he was passed over for promotion a couple of times. I guess he really loved being in the Army because the news hit him pretty hard. After he got out he moved to San Diego and we stayed in touch. He would write to me and tell me how he’s surfing and he bought his mother a house in Las Vegas, he met a girl, etc. January 15th, 2014 I wrote him to let him know that I got my server working again since my server crashed and was down for a short term. I didn’t get a response back. So I just thought maybe he was traveling or busy. Then on January 20th, 2014 I received an e-mail from his mother telling me that Chris had committed suicide on January 18th. It was only 3 days after my last e-mail. In her letter she asked for me to be a conduit to get the word to others in the US Army who knew Chris. When I went into work and shared the news with others it was pretty sad. I couldn’t believe that somebody who was so happy was so devastated by being forced out of the Army that he took his own life.
This is what eats at me to this day. Six months after Chris committed suicide I received an assignment to San Diego, California. I actually arrived in San Diego in November of 2014. I’ve been here for a year and don’t know many people. I don’t really go out much unless it is to work or with my family. If Chris hadn’t committed suicide we would be able to hang out, we could check out the surf locations, or no matter what it was I’m sure we would have good times. It always makes me wonder about what could have been or what he would be doing today. Who knows? He certainly is missed. R.I.P. Captain Christopher Atencio.