Saturday, June 11, 2016

When I Was In Iraq: Part Twelve - "Tom"

There was a CIA agent on my base named "Tom."  (Maybe his name wasn't really "Tom," maybe it was something else and I'm changing it to preserve his anonymity).

He arrived after me, I don't exactly remember when I first met him. He would stay on after my departure for a full year tour at that position. 

But I do remember immediately upon meeting him, that I was face-to-face with easily the funniest person I had ever met in my entire life.

Now don't get me wrong, he was professional. He did his job well. By the nature of my job, which I have been able to only lightly describe in these posts, I would interact with him on a daily basis. But the guy would light up the room with hilarious comments. 

In any regular day, in which I would go into the CIA FEBR (Federally Evaluated Blast Resistant [Building]), I would leave there telling him that he needed to write these things down, that comedic gold was just spontaneously spewing from him.

He is a very smart man and he knows he's funny, in fact, he admitted that he had contemplated writing a script encapsulating his humor in the framework of a CIA station in some random place like Iceland (where we don't even have a CIA station, by the way [Or do we?...].)

"Tom" helped me survive my deployment. I mean, to get up every morning and just know that a belly aching laugh awaited you later in the day because of him--that is precious.

As I was approaching my departure, "Tom" told me that he had a bottle of liquor with him. I'm not even exactly sure if it was brandy or whiskey (it was more than twelve years ago)--it doesn't matter. He asked me to share it with him before my departure. I was touched and I suspended my ordinary schedule of being lights out at 8:00PM just for him. That's how much he meant to me.

I have fond memories of reclining on chairs looking into the night sky over [THE NSA SAYS I CAN'T NAME THIS CITY], sipping liquor with this dear man. 

We drank and we said the things that needed to be said.

"Tom" is still in government service. Pray for his safety as he continues to serve our nation in harm's way. And I also pray that someday he puts pen to paper and lets the entire world smile and laugh from his comedic gift...

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