In memory of a fallen soldier, Superman/ Staff Sgt. Joan Duran

Hey all,

On this day in 2007 I received terrible news about my best friend’s boyfriend who had been killed in Iraq. I honestly can not believe it has been eight years, it feel like it was yesterday. I was babysitting my cousin Casey at the time when my mom called to tell me the news. My heart instantly broke for the pain I knew Andrea was feeling. All I wanted to do was be there for her. That was one of the hardest times in my life because there wasn’t anything that I could say or do to make her feel better. He was such a special person and who ever met him instantly liked him.

He was one of the most sweet and caring people you could imagine. He loved life and everyone around him. He always made you feel special by giving you nick names and always remembering your birthday by sending you a birthday card and writing the most heart felt messages. He once gave my mom a special coin/token and she still has it to this day I believe. His nick name for Andrea was “Tinkerbell”. He used to call me “the little one” because I was Andrea’s best friend and I was younger than her and honestly I don’t know what the other reasons were but it made me feel special. His nick name Superman and he definitely stood up to that name.  I know that if I ever need protecting he will always be there in spirit.

I learned a lot from this event in my life. I learned that everybody grieves in a different way, for Andrea it meant distancing herself from me because it was too painful to be reminded of him because so many memories we had, had to do with Joan. We would visit his family in Roxbury on Friday nights, blast Spanish songs while driving around town(not having a clue what they translated to), make care packages for him, make calendars, and so many other things. But after a couple years we rekindled our friendship because I knew in my heart Andrea would come back around. We always stayed in touch through out the couple of years we didn’t see each other so it’s not like we had “ended” our friendship. I have realized that this event made our friendship stronger because we both went through pain together. And now to this day we are closer than ever before. To the point where she will be my Maid of Honor in my wedding. I know Joan is smiling down on us and so happy that we are still friends and at the level of friendship that we are. Nobody quite understands just what kind of a special bond Andrea and I share as friends but I know I wouldn’t trade the world for what we had to go through. It just shows that anything can be thrown at us and you won’t be able to break our friendship. I love you girl and I love you Joan.

Side note: Andrea has moved on and accepted everything that has happened in her life and realized that everything happens for a reason. She is currently in a relationship with a wonderful guy and has been for the past several years and plans to be with him for many more years to come. So now she can look back on the happy times and smile knowing that Joan is looking down on her smiling too. She has grown up so much and is now running her own hair dressing business.

One response

  1. Hey chica! Sooooo im crying , because this is is so beautiful. Thank you for all the kind words you said, and for sharing some of Joans story . He was truly an amazing guy, and I know he is shining down on us . Our friendship is one that you described , unbreakable! And I am so happy that we came back around full circle and now you will officially be a part of my family . I love you!!!!

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