In Memory of Brian Mowery
My friend and I are in the military. He deployed to Afghanistan late last year. While on his two-week leave home around the beginning of June, he called to say he was home for a bit, then mentioned that he was taking his daughter for a tat like he had promised when she turned 18.
He mentioned that he wanted another one too but would probably wait until he returned from the deployment for good. He said he didn't know what to get. I told him how I liked sugar skulls. As usual, he said "Yeah, yeah" like he did about everything: "That would be cool", etc. :)
Then we said our goodbyes and talked about getting together for a Harley ride before he was flown back. He had planned his two week return home so he could see her graduate, then as promised got her a tat.
I am friends with the tat artist, Jason Dombrosky, X-13 Studios in Tower City, PA. A few days later I had stopped in to visit. To my suprise Brian was sitting in the chair getting "the tat". He had his daughter up the day before and said he just couldn't wait so he came back that next day to get his sugar skull. I was flattered he took the tat idea I had and went for it. A few days later he returned to Afghanistan.
About twelve days after that he was on a vehicle security mission and was killed in action by an IED. I called Jason, the tattoo artist about a week later. He had heard about the unit's lost soldiers, Brian being one of three. I asked if he still had the stencil for the tat. Of course he did so I made a trip up and got it myself to memorialize my great friend Brian. It was the last thing he and I talked about. I was amazed that he went and got a sugar skull that day and shocked at how he was taken away so quickly afterward.
The strangest thing about it all is what the sugar skull represents. I always knew what it meant but never put that in mind as far as talking about getting one. Now that all is said and done, my tat 100% represents and honors the memory I have of my buddy Brian.