I received word yesterday that my friend, Robert "Johnny" Garman, passed away at the "tender" age of 69.
He served in the jungles of Vietnam as a "tunnel rat" for the Marine Corps. "Tunnel rats" were the crazy-nuts guys who would explore and boobytrap enemy tunnels, often under the feet of the enemy they sought.
Like others, Johnny was about 5' tall and weighed 100 lbs if you tied bricks to his ankles. The man even had two master's degrees.
To most people, he'd be considered a bit, well, "off" as he was always in shorts and a blazer with his current favorite t-shirt and cowboy hat. Most of the time, he had a big grin on his face.
He was a good soul, doing what he could for others. He met his wife over the Internet and they married about 10 years ago, making him a happy man. She is close in age and with health problems of her own, including failing sight.
Over the years, he became something of a medical marvel. According to him, he was told he had the most stents installed in any living person.
A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail from him saying he was going to have a lung removed. He was always in good spirits and had no worries.
Yesterday, I found out the removal went well but his heart simply "gave out" and he died on the table.
Thanks, Johnny, for all.