Sgt. Bruce A. Hartford, U.S. Army Special Forces, Vietnam

The Dash of Life
Upon viewing any traditional tombstone, one will find the name of the individual who was laid to rest, and underneath that name two dates - one signifying when they were born, and the other when they passed on from this life to the next, with these dates separated by a dash. As small a grammatical tool as this is, when engraved in granite or marble it makes a powerful statement, symbolizing the span of that person's life.
Many people reach the end of their life wishing they had made more of the opportunities they were presented with, and are regretful of the choices they made. However, there are some who took the life that was handed to them, dire circumstances and all, and made that life into something extraordinary.
My friend and colleague, Bruce Hartford, did just that. He made the most out of his life, seizing every moment to learn, to live to the fullest, to teach and, most importantly, to love. To know my colleague was to know someone who made the most out of life and enjoyed every minute of it, whether it was spending quality time with his wife and family or telling a story from his myriad adventures.
One can truly say that in the end, he made the most out of his life, and the dash on his tombstone representing his life was one well lived. If there is anything one could learn, that would be to make the most of every day, seizing it, savoring it, enjoying it to the fullest extent, and knowing you made the most of each day. We are all given a dash - I have chosen what to do with mine. What shall you do with yours?