His Smile, His Family, and 27 Years of Service
Craig Alan Griffin was a true patriot. His legacy will truly live on forever, for there was no such man as him. He loved his country so much so that he gave 27 years of his life to it. He was a brilliant man. To becaome a Green Beret medic is one of the hardest MOS's in the military. He achieved that and even ended up teaching other soldiers this job. He was the epitome of selflessness and compassion. But that is only the tip of the iceberg of what he achieved in his lifetime. He held a bacholor's degree, a master's degree, and was working on his MBA at the time of his death.
In the first Gulf War, he helped save the animals at the Kuwaiti Zoo that were left to starve by giving them food and medical attention. This is also where he contracted Gulf War Syndrome. An ammo dump that he was ordered to guard blew up and he was showered with radio active material. He was also subjected to many other things that made him and his men sick. Craig is the fourth man out of that unit to die early. Many of the others are still sick with various ailments. But Craig was never one to complain. Throughout the 90's and 00's, Craig was a hard worker, a mentor, and a soldier. He was very proud to call himself a Green Beret. And he was the essence of what every soldier should be. I was proud to call myself his wife. No better man have I ever met.
As his wife, I only found out much of what happened to him in the Gulf War after he died. Again, he was the consumate professional. We met in Zimbabwe on a humanitarian demining mission in 2000. We always called it our honeymoon before we got married. We were married September 2nd of that year. When I would ask him things that happened in his past, he would never want to talk about it. He would always tell me his life didn't start until he met me. I never knew what he meant by that. Now I do. One month before 9/11, I found out I was pregnant. Craig ran to the store to get 3 pregnancy tests because we were so surprised. We were amazingly fortunate to have a healthy baby boy named Liam. He was and is the joy of our and now my life. Craig was a family man. He never missed a game, always had the best ideas for birthdays, and made every holiday a huge, spectacular ocassion. I used to always call him Clark Grisswald. One day before we got married I asked him what he wanted most in life. He answered with a huge grin, "A son." That he got. He loved to laugh, he loved adventure (he made me jump off that bridge too!), but most of all he loved his family. That is his true legacy.