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At approx. 0200 hours on 04JUL2009, Neil "Halfro" Kuykendall made his last ride. Colliding with a utility pole, both he and his passenger were killed on impact. He was 24.

While I would like to say Neil was a long-time friend, I've known him about 9 months, since he moved to PA. In that time we've ridden together two or three times a week when weather allowed, and became close friends.

Neil served 6 years of his young life in the US Marines, most of that served proudly in Iraq. Following his discharge in the fall of 2008, he relocated to Pennsylvania to put down some roots. After finding a well-paying job in his chosen profession, he purchased a house, met my neighbor, and in 8 months he had her talked into marrying him. Sadly she will never be able to do that.

Most puzzling are the circumstances. In 9 months I've never seen Neil without gear. Helmet, riding boots, leather jacket and heavy pants. Not only when we ride together, but when I pass him on the road from time to time. Never have I seen him without. On July 4 at 0200 hours, he was wearing no protective gear, nor was his passenger. On top of this, he was not riding his GSXR 600. He was on a borrowed 750. Perhaps strangest of all was his cousin had wrecked a GSXR the week prior, lending to our obvious confusion at his lack of gear.

I'm not one for waxing sentimental, but let it serve as a reminder that it only takes once. And farewell to a damned good friend, a fellow soldier, and what was most likely the nicest, most kind-hearted fellow I've met in quite a while. You're missed, Halfro. I look forward to swapping lies with you when I catch up.
 

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R.i.p my prayers go out to you and his friends and family. I know its hot out there guys just please wear your gear.
 
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