Folks I apologize for my absence…we have been hit hard by some deaths of friends and family this Fall.
My dear friend, LTC Dave Cabrera was killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan on October 24th. Dave and I have been friends for years. I was just at his promotion party in August (the weekend I got pregnant). He is the first Army Social Work officer killed in action (ever). Also killed was his mental health tech, SGT Christopher Newman and the therapy dog.
Here is Dave with his wife, August and his sons, Roanin and Max. I just can’t believe he’s gone. I had a really hard time with this and didn’t feel like talking or writing for a really long time. After the death in my depression, I actually heard Dave talk to me, obviously an admission to have me institutionalized. But he said he is doing ok and that I can let go of my sadness. I hope it is true. I will never go to another conference without thinking of him. He would also write funny notes on my paper and I never knew what was going on because I was too busy “talking to Dave.”
Here is the retrospective I wrote for our annual newsletter:
For those who knew him, Dave Cabrera never did anything halfway. He embraced life with a zest of living, a sense of fun and reverence. He had a wicked sense of humor, a large smile and a huge heart. If you were his friend, he loved you unconditionally. He was blunt in his opinions and sincere in his expressions. He was happiest when he was working with soldiers and died doing something that he volunteered for and for a cause he believed in. LTC Cabrera pushed boundaries every day with the hopes that it would help the people he had chosen to serve.
LTC Cabrera was born in Florida but grew up in Houston, where he graduated from Sam Houston High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University, an MSW from University of Texas Arlington and joined the U.S. Army as a Medical Service Corps officer in Jan. 1996. He obtained his PhD from Catholic University.
LTC Cabrera was the Director of Social Work at the Uniformed Service University. As an assistant professor in the university’s Department of Family Medicine, he saw patients, taught military medical students, conducted research on post-traumatic stress disorder and post-traumatic growth.
He is survived by his wife, August and four children; Corbin, Gillian, Max and Roanin.
Godspeed, Dave. I will miss you.
I also lost my cousin (cancer) , his wife (MS) in 3 weeks. They left an 19-year-old and a 16-year-old. So shocking but not unexpected. Just shocking and sad in the timing, so close together.
On happier news; Rock and Roll continue to amuse us with their walking and talking. Common words are “dog, cat, mama, daddy, light, car, go, camel (?), more, bye, please, thank you” and a bunch more. I have my consult on my embryo adoption today so I’ll let you know how it goes. There a times when the boys are running around that I think adding another child is insane and other times when it seems doable. We’ll see.
Oh and I pin on Lieutenant Colonel 1 Jan 2012