Rest in peace my friend.
During the 2006 Camp Ashland Warrior Challenge and Adventure Race our team of Bruce & Linda Barnhart, me, and Major Dave Butterfield were one of the first teams back to Camp Ashland after 5 hours of various forms of endurance torture. Upon arriving at the checkpoint at the Platte River we were told our kayaks awaited—on the other side of the river. Did I mention it had been snowing/sleeting most of the day and that the river was ‘up and running’? As we were contemplating our challenge the RD informed me that Mike Morgan had just ran his debut marathon at Chicago in 2:14! I couldn’t contain my excitement and jumped right in the Platte. And into a strong current that began dragging me down stream. Me exhausted, fully clothed and wearing a back pack. I lost foot contact with the bottom and started foundering immediately. I was in serious trouble.
Major Dave Butterfield was a soft spoken, gentle man whose personality seemed oddly juxtaposed to my perception of a high ranking military man. Yet he was who he was, and that was just a plain old good guy.
Dave jumped into the Platte and retrieved me, still sputtering and cursing. He not only saved my life but bound me to his side and helped me cross that damned Platte. Upon emerging on the far bank I started shivering in uncontrollable spasms and was pulled from the competition by the medical staff for hypothermia. Our team was penalized 30 minutes for failure to complete this final challenge of the day but we still earned 3rd place for the 4 person coed division.
Major Dave was struck by a dump truck while riding his bike this past week and killed. Those that knew him a lot or a little, but especially this old fart whose life he saved, will never forget the kind soul that is no longer with us.
The Circle of Life goes on: Congratulations to Mike & Kelly Morgan who are expecting their first child this fall. I received the news the same day I found out about Dave, life with all its highs and lows, continues.