January 6, 2018
Randy Kusiak can’t recall winning anything, ever, except a few accordion lessons when he was a kid, so when he received Jim Zwit’s email on Christmas morning, he wasn’t convinced that his luck was about to change.
Zwit was writing to say that he’d entered a Chicago Bears contest to win two tickets to the Super Bowl. As a season ticket holder, all he’d had to do was submit a 2,000-character essay on who he’d bring and why.
The contest letter went on to describe the months that followed, the men’s shared jungle patrols, their disputes over baseball and shared love of the Bears, and how on an April evening Zwit was severely injured in a firefight. Kusiak was one of the comrades who carried him to safety.
Eight men in their Army unit died that night. Odds were that Zwit would too. He didn’t.He spent 18 months in hospitals, in Vietnam, Japan and back in Illinois, and wherever he was, Kusiak sent him letters and pictures. When both men made it home, Kusiak came to visit.
“Randy NEVER forgot about me,” Zwit wrote, concluding his contest entry by noting that Kusiak and his wife had retired in Florida a few years ago. read more here