[Annual Halloween Repost]
I went through a training course with my friend Mat Schram. As junior officers, the environment was very competitive and Mat and I were always at the top in terms of scores and class rank. Eventually, he was #2 and I was #3 in the class. He was such a great guy that I didn't mind in the least being ranked behind him (except that he was a freakin' Packers fan). We were good friends and I ran into him quite a few times during my career.
One Halloween many years ago, I visited him a Fort Lee. Schrambo and I went to a Halloween Party at the Officer's Club (one of the better ones in the Army). I was dressed up as a prisoner (real Cook County jail uniform) complete with shackles for the legs and wrists and he had this fake muscle Rambo thing on (he was nicknamed "Schrambo" after all).
We went to the cemetery on Ft. Lee to continue the Halloween party that started at the Officers Club. The Cemetery closes at 10pm (and is off-limits to all), and Mat and I brought some ladies with us. It was just before midnight and we started telling ghost stories while having an adult beverage.
Sure enough, as soon as the ghost stories were getting good (we were in the haunted part of the cemetery - civil war ghosts – the best kind), MPs spotted our vehicles and decided to see who was in the cemetery.
They turn on their spotlight and use their speaker to tell to us come out. Mat turns and says to me, "Matty, you can talk your way out of anything. You go talk to the MPs."
Knowing Mat, I should have recognized the twinkle in his eye.
So, seeing one of the MPs had his hand on his sidearm, and me, still wearing my orange jumpsuit/convict outfit - shackles and all (one of the girls convinced me to keep them on) - I come stumbling out of the darkness and into the MP spotlight yelling "Don't shoot!"
The MP behind the light did a double take, and I swear the MPs thought they caught an escaped convict. I heard Mat fall over in the darkness behind me laughing his ass off.
After the MPs decided NOT to shoot me and heard our stories, they laughed so hard they let us off without any trouble.
That's how I like to remember Mat...from that Halloween night.