My name is Brian Pickard and I was a friend of your late Brother. We were stationed together in Germany, were in the same unit and lived on the same barracks floor. I have been looking for him off and on for a few months and found your Blog with pictures of Vinny. I am truely sorry for your loss. Vinny was great guy, with a huge personality. He would spend alot of time in my barracks room and we explored the city of Augsburg on more than one occasion.
I may have a photo or 2 of Vinny and I know I have some video (still on VHS) of us in Germany. I am planning on scanning all my photo's for safe keeping. I could send you a copy if you would like them. I also have alot of stories I would love to share as well.
If you could please send me a back a reply so I know that you got this email and it didn't go into your junk folder I would appreciate it. If you do not want any furher contact from me I understand. Just know that your Brother had a big impact on many people, he will be missed.
I replied and then received this email:
I had been stationed in Germany for over a year when Vinny showed up. We were in the same barracks and I had a large room with TV, VCR and places for everyone to sit and watch. Vinny's routine was always the same. He would walk into my room, open my fridge and check for food. Look in my drawer for more food then sit down and say "Whats up" To me it was comical. He wouldn't take food without asking but he would ALWAYS check for food first before sitting down and saying hello.
I live in Southeast Missouri. I have a wife and 10 year old daughter. I was raised on farm in the middle of nowhere and think that is why Vinny and I got along so well because we were both rednecks. The funny thing was I never thought of rednecks coming from Maine but he told me about him growning up and it was so much like mine I remember.
I only mention this next story because of your obvious devotion to Christ on your blog. While I was stationed in Germany I was an athiest. Vinny on several occasions explained to me that I was wrong. In the middle of 2008 I came to Christ myself. I have comfort knowing that I will get to see him again. His belief had an impact on me over the years.
Once again I am so happy that you answered my email. I hope I'm not causing difficult feelings talking about your brother. He really was one of my close friends while we were in Germany and I am very saddened by his passing. I have alot of stories that keep popping into my head as I think about him and I plan on writing them down and will share them with you in the future. All the stories bring a smile to my face, whether they were good or bad stories we always had fun.
I love so many things about this. That five years after my brother's death, we are still hearing new stories of how he impacted people. I love that he never changed about food. And most of all his friend Brian came to the Lord the year Vinny died.