In 1997, my family visited me at Charleston Air Force Base and came to watch softball practice on a Saturday morning. My youngest brother Matt asked why I wore #13 on my jersey, wasn’t that bad luck? In my twenty-something cocky way, I said something like “I defy bad luck, bring it on”. We never talked about it again but Matt adopted the number 13. It was his number on the high school basketball team and the number has taken on a special, revered place in our family story.
Several years later, Matt ended his life with a jump from the old Cooper River Bridge in Charleston. That event took an enormous toll on a very strong family, and I’ll do what I can to spare others from the same.
This is a very short version of the story. Over 15 years later, the details still pierce me like a dagger through the chest when I allow myself to go there.
- Ray Cirasa, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)