Monday, December 10, 2007

CPT Adam P. Snyder

My plebe year, I was in upper level arabic classes because I had already learned to speak the language. In the class were all Juniors and Seniors, something which happens rarely at West Point. I was also in the Glee Club. Most of the Seniors in the Glee Club didn't talk to me much (probably because I wasn't a very good plebe) and one of them was also in my Arabic classes. His name was Adam Snyder.

The day after my father's funeral, I came back to West Point and had our Glee Club photo. I walked out to Trophy Point on a grey and windy day and sat off by myself, upset about my father. Adam came over and introduced himself asking if I was the plebe in his Arabic class. He asked if I could help him study Arabic and we began to meet every day in the Dirt Library before class to study or I would brave the halls of A3 to his room.

Grad Week '04, my first experience with West Point's graduation traditions, Adam came to my room. He had in his hand his dress grey shirt with three stripes designating him as a Cadet Lieutenant...he was A3's XO. He told me he wanted me to have it so there was still a part of him at West Point. I took it feeling as though the day I'd need a jacket of a firstie was further off than I could imagine and knowing I didn't even know for sure if I'd stay. More than that, Adam was a big kid. He worked out all the time (and used to give me hell for not doing so myself...he thought it imperative an officer be in the best physical condition). I took his jacket and kept it hanging in my closet for four years. I hoped someday I'd fit into it myself.

He was the lead in the class of 2004's Hundredth Night Show and on his company's Sandhurst team. When he deployed to Iraq, the Army made a new rule that one could only wear shirts of natural material under your ACU's so that blasts would not melt the material to the skin. The Army did not, however, give soldiers the money to pay for new shirts. Adam took it upon himself to organize donations to provide shirts for his soldiers and, in doing so, provided shirts not only for his own platoon, but for the soldiers of three full companies.

Last we talked, he was headed to Iraq for his second tour. He volunteered to go instead of going to the Captain's Career Course. He would have had to do so eventually, but he would rather go to Iraq and be able to lead troops instead of sitting in a classroom environment.

Adam died in Iraq on Dec. 5 2007. My heart sank when I heard the news and even now, writing this, my hands tremble at the loss. And now I type the words I have sung so often, but never for a friend like Adam...

Be Thou At Peace.
Captain Adam P. Snyder, November 18, 1981-December 5, 2007


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this...its 12:50am and I can not sleep thinking about my dear friend, Adam....I miss him so much that it hurts. We went to high school together and became very close the last few years of high school. We had so many wonderful memories....You brought tears to my eyes as I was reading. Adam was such a caring, loving and selfless person and I know that he is in a better place. God Bless his family during this time. I will remember him always.


10:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am Adam's Father, Joseph D Snyder and I would like to express my gratitude on your emotional expression of your relationship with my son. Your words ring true and I pray that your "tour of Duty" brings you home safe and sound to your family.

Adam's Dad

3:58 PM  
Blogger Adam said...

I don't know if you'll ever read this, but thank you for the response and well wishes. Adam was an amazing man who has changed me forever. I think of him often, and know others do too.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Adam was my first PL when I changed duty stations from 25th ID to 101st ABN. I remember my first day at 1A1/327, even as newly arrived soldier and stranger to the platoon, he said he was counting on me to step up to a teamleader position. They just got back from their 05-06 deployment to Iraq, so I felt like a complete stranger. Those guys were tight. But the trust he gave me, left a lasting impression on the rest of the platoon. "Well, if Lt Snyder trusts him, he's gotta be ok, right?" Out of the thousands of memories I have from the Army, that is one that has stuck with me and changed the course of my career. I can't believe we are approaching 10 years.

8:56 AM  

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