I’m posting with permission from the author. This story was on her Facebook page and I wanted to share it with all of you:
From my friend~a Navy Lt serving in Afghanistan:
Yesterday, my closest friend for the last couple months, Roslyn Schulte, was killed in a roadside bombing halfway between here and Bagram. She is one of the most incredible people I have ever known, and I want to tell you about her. I had only known her about three months, but she was assigned to my unit, and so, she and I being the only two junior officers in the group, she had the unfortunate pleasure of having to hangout with me. I can probably count on one hand the number of times we did not eat at least one meal of the day together since she arrived here in early March.
Ros was truly an exceptional person. Usually when you hear that about someone who just died, it’s almost always exaggeration, if not pure BS. With Ros, it’s not. She passed up on the Ivy leagues to go to the Air Force Academy. She qualified for state in five different sports in high school, was an all-American in college, a qualified pilot. She was ALWAYS kind to others. She went out of her way to call her mom and dad two or three times a week every week she was here. Sorry I don’t do that, Mom and Dad. No one did, except for Ros. She dreamed of getting out of the air force to settle down and start a family. She didn’t drink. She didn’t like the lifestyle of the military — said it didn’t work well for family. She wanted to be a successful business owner (like her mom), but worried that would interfere with raising a family.
I’ve gotten good at bragging about her in the last 38 hours or so since we lost her. I’m generally recognized as her closest friend on base. It’s an honor. But with that comes great misery too. I don’t think there are too many people here who haven’t seen me sobbing or choked up at some point in the last couple days. It feels strange for me as well, given I’m usually a pretty emotionless person. What is this watery substance hat appears to be forming in my eyes??
Ros and I usually traveled together on longer trips. We were almost always paired off together, in the same vehicle. That’s how we wanted it, and how the mission planners did. Yesterday however I had to go somewhere else. We saw each other briefly in the morning, just shy of 7am. She was walking from her room, my convoy was already staged and waiting. She saluted me, in typical jest. Junior officers usually don’t salute other junior officers, especially when they know each other. Without too much said, we each went our separate ways — I fully expected we would both be back having a meal together at Camp Eggers that evening. In fact, even though the day had just begun, I was already looking forward to that. She was my friend. My helicopter took off at 8am. By all accounts, Ros was killed halfway between Kabul and Bagram about 8:05. When my helicopter landed at the destination, around 9am, I got the news that there had been an attack along the route I knew she would be taking. Being a logical person, I quickly jumped to hope — that it was a well-traveled route for coalition forces, what are the chances that the one vehicle hit would be the one that Ros was driving? But something just didn’t seem right, and my worst fears were confirmed in the excruciating minutes and hours after that initial news. No news is clear, especially when spotty reports are coming over cell phones, etc. But I would guess around 10am or 10:30, we got a phone call that Ros was dead.
I’m writing this to you so you can know a little bit about this wonderful person, Ros Schulte. My friend. I think it’s ironic that this is happening just shy of Memorial Day, but I hope you will think of her this day. Fly a flag or something. I don’t know. I’ve never lost anyone who was this close to me in my life — someone who was a fixture, who I counted on to be there everyday — so I don’t know how to handle this stuff. But I do know that many of the people in my unit have been writing back to their family and friends about Ros. And I figured since she and I were the closest, I should do the same too. And you should honor her, because she was my friend.