TN50 #66, What Makes Commandos Different – Andy’s Beer, 04 April 2022
Happy Monday and welcome to The Next 50 #66. Andy Fernandez died 19 years and 2 days ago. Andy was my friend and team mate. I had only known him for 3 months before he died but our entire team had spent endless hours together in those 3 month and I knew him well.
Pix 1: This is the picture you will see if you google Andy, don’t let the stoic face fool you (we never smiled for official Department of the Army photos – at least not back then) In the real-world Andy always had a smile on his face.
Based on our conversations there are 3 things that I am 100% positive that Andy loved:
- His wife, Kathy
- His son, Will
- Baseball (can’t say I understand this one, but it’s cool and all)
I am sure there are lots of things that Andy loved but I am basing my list on our conversations. I also know that Andy, like all of us, was very happy to be at the Unit, he fit in on our team from day 1, Andy was a solid performer.
Andy and his crew had come over to the house for a team get together in February, 2003 and he brought a 6-pack of Heinekens. Beer customs and courtesies are that you leave whatever you don’t drink in your buddy’s fridge when you leave a party so when I returned from the deployment, I was surprised to find 2 of Andy’s Heines left over in my garage fridge. One of those beers was consumed in a solo toast to Andy soon after I discovered them. The second one, Andy’s Beer has moved with me and my crew since 2003.
I had to add the custom sign at some point for fear of some hipster wanting to look cool and cracking this thing open by mistake. Now I haven’t had a Heine in a while but I remember always thinking they taste like “piss water” but in a good way(-: For all I know this was the simply the only decent beer Andy could find at the convenience store by my house, I’ll have to ask Kathy about that.
Every time I do have a Heineken or see Andy’s Beer in the garage fridge I smile a little and I think of my buddy Andy and his crew, I also wonder about this crazy world, in a good way.
Someday, when I’m ready, I’ll put Andy’s Beer in a shadow box and take it back to our bar at the Unit, Carly if I get hit by a bus anytime soon, make sure this happens!
So, if you are out and have the opportunity: grab a Heineken and make a toast to Andy, he was a good man and don’t forget Kathy and Will.
Please share your own What Makes Commandos Different stories (nothing about not wearing underwear please!) with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and share this with your team or anyone who might find it interesting.
Have a good one, Alex
2022 Murph Count: 44