This is my Cold Steel Ti-Lite. I own many knives that are far more extravagant looking, made of better materials, and carry a heavier price tag, but this knife is truly my favorite. It has not to do with its capabilities as a blade, or what utilitarian function it serves, but the memory of my dear friend Matt Smith, or as some in his battalion knew him as ” Lance Cpl. Mathew Smith”.
Matt was my good friend all through high school. We played football together, we fished together, we hunted together, we talked about guns and knives together. We were two peas in a pod. After we graduated high school, Matt immediately enlisted in the Marines. As a joke referring to a YouTuber known as ParkourDude91, I got Matt a Kabar knife with ” Semper Fi ” written on the side of it in silver sharpie marker. On the day that Matt left for his deployment, he gave me a Cold Steel Ti-Lite knowing how much I disliked Cold Steel. On May 10, 2003, Matt’s mother called me and told me something that I was not ready for. At the young age of 21, and only 8 days before returning home, Matt’s Humvee was involved in a non-hostile accident which took his life.
Other than the missing thumb stud, the knife is mint condition. I’m afraid to carry it, afraid to use it, afraid to lose or break the one thing I have left of Matt. I keep it on my desk along with a picture of him and I standing on the banks of Lake Erie right before we set out to go Walleye fishing.
Freedom isn’t free, and he will not be forgotten.