Andrew Bedard: A Good Friend

Let me take this time to tell you all a story about a good man. A good friend. Andrew Bedard. Andrew was one of those guys that you couldn’t help but like. I knew him decently well during School of Infantry (SOI), more like an acquaintance, but well enough. Then we graduated from SOI, and we were assigned to 3rd Battalion 7th Marines, Weapons Company. This is where our story really starts.

Knowingly full well everyone is unique, Bedard was unique in a different way. He could be the quiet guy that never said a word or the life of the party with outrageous jokes and great stories. During our time together in Combined Anti-Armor Team Red, Andrew and I got to know each other much better. It was on one fateful night that I’ll never forget, I’ll always remember just exactly who Andrew was.

See I was a stupid kid, as were many of us and I was having an argument with my girlfriend. She was pissed and didn’t want me to drive down to Riverside that weekend for liberty. I was pissed, she was pissed, it was stupid. I was obviously in a bad mood when Andrew spotted me being a mopey little bitch.

“Hey, dude, how about this, I got a little gathering in my room, just come over drink beer and watch TV and forget about that relationship bullshit.”

He bought my beer, let me bum smokes off of him all night. Everyone got stupid drunk while we watched Chappelle’s Show.

Andrew Bedard

I never felt so relaxed. It was the best therapy I think I’ve ever had. As the months dragged on Andrew got reassigned from Weapons Company to Lima Company, and he’d shout down from the barracks catwalk on Friday after we’d gotten released for weekend liberty.

“Hey man, you gonna come drink with me this weekend.”

And I being stupid and selfish and dumb replied,

“No man I’m gonna go hang with my girl.”

Every Memorial Day I think about it, because on October 4th, 2005, Andrew Bedard was killed by an IED in Iraq. I never got to go drink with Andrew again. I never got to repay his kindness. I remember getting back to Hurricane Point and seeing Beard. Andrew’s best friend from SOI and in the battalion…

Andrew Bedard

He ran up to me and asked if it was true. I told him it was. The two of us embraced and cried knowing that we lost one of the best men we’d both ever know.

Andrew Bedard

I tell you all this story to say this.

Hopefully, I honored my friend with this piece…Never pass up an opportunity to spend time with someone who is a true friend. My girlfriend and I eventually broke up, we don’t talk. I can say that if Andrew had lived, we’d still be friends to this day and I missed an opportunity to be as good of a friend as Andrew Bedard was to me. Don’t let it happen to you. Be a friend like Andrew.

READ MORE STORIES OF AMERICAN GRIT:

IVAN PEREZ: THE ROAD TO SUCCESS IS PAVED WITH HARDSHIP

SPENCER BOYD: PATRIOTISM ON THE TRACK

JAMES THAYER: LIBERATOR

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