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Fallen Hero Staff SGT Travis S. Bachman

Letter from "Pete"

"Hanging On By A Thread/Looking Forward to Coming Home"

After going almost 11 months of getting lucky, we lost our 2nd Soldier in
just over a week on Wednesday. Just got done with the memorial and there
wasn't a dry eye in the house. I remember saying in the last e-mail that it
is much easier to accept a non-combat death than a combat death. I was wrong
in this case. SSG Travis Bachman was just a great Soldier, NCO and family
man. What his wife and young kids are going through right now, I can only

I remember talking with him for the last time just hours before he went out
and there was a sudden mission change and he had to make it quickly. He did
it without a complaint. That's the kind of Soldier he was.

The only consolation is from what I have seen, it is likely that he didn't
suffer because with the size and direction of the blast, he never had a
chance. We very well could have lost 3 Soldiers that morning.

Maybe it hit harder because everyone knew SSG Bachman and had numerous
stories about him, mostly hilarious and involving ourselves as the brunt of
one of his practical jokes.

Maybe it hit harder because he was only nine months older than me and I
started to sense my own mortality.

Maybe it hit harder because he left a wife and three beautiful children

Maybe it hit harder because we had just gotten too cocky and we were so
close to going home we thought it would 'never happen to us.'

Maybe it hit harder because it was the second guy from the same platoon in a
nine-day period.

I know it's a combination of all of these and probably many more, some of
which aren't fit for comment or print until we are out of here at the

I guess the best message that can come out of this is the one we so often
ignore: cherish every moment with your friends and loved ones because you
never know when it will be your last.

If you have friends or family over during the coming weeks, just remember
that. Don't be afraid to give them a big strong hug. I gave and received
more today than I have in a long time and while it didn't get rid of all the
grief, it definitely helped.

I wish you all the best of luck and hope to see you all soon.