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Howling Commandos HQ > Home > Forums

!!! IMPORTANT !!! ATTACK ON NEW YORK — MEMBER SOUND OFF
(Sticky) Posted by Bucky1956 on May 4, 2012

Folks — We've all seen the horrifying events in New York today, for continually updating news, check out the NYT/WSJ/CNN/BBC. For information on how to donate blood, supplies, cash and warm bodies, click here.

If you're in New York: Please sound off so your platoon can know you're safe.

***

To: PC (loyaltothedream@hushmail.com)
From: Buck (bucky1956@yahoo.com)
Subject: Report!
Date: May 10, 2012

Phil — where the hell are you, man? Let us know if you're all right, or if there's anything we can do to help. HQ's freaking the fuck out.

***

Howling Commandos HQ > Home > Forums

!!! IMPORTANT !!! ATTACK ON NEW YORK — MEMBERS SOUND OFF
Posted by Bucky1956 on May 20, 2012

This is really fucking awful and I don't know how else to start this message so I guess I'll just write it: PC is, as far as we can tell, missing and unaccounted for in the aftermath of the Battle of New York.

To give some context for newer members, or people who weren't fortunate enough to talk often or much with our fearless forum head mod, PC has been the brainchild and den mother for this seething pit of Cap trivia and anger toward the History Channel's devolution into Ancient Aliens and away from its apparent previous mission statement to show every WWII documentary 2x a day since its inception.

Here is what we know:

PC was a New York City resident.
PC was in law enforcement.
PC has not commented or logged into his account since May 4.

Look, I know we operate under pretty pervasive and unspoken rules of anonymity here, but I think this is an acceptable time to call on our collective resources.

So this is an open call:

If you have any information on PC, contact information, personal information, any knowledge on how we can reach out to his family, friends, etc. — please DM me, Bucky1956 or email me at bucky1956 at yahoo dot com.

If PC is busy or tied up, that's fine. But it's been weeks, and no one has been able to get ahold of him and I don't know about anybody else, but if this is just PC trolling me for fun, I would like to get in touch so I can convey our collective, worried sick and overjoyed he's okay punch in the face.

Thanks. I hope to hear from you guys soon.

***

To: PC (loyaltothedream@hushmail.com)
From: Buck (bucky1956@yahoo.com)
Subject: I swear to God.
Date: June 1, 2012

Okay you goddamn asked for it you unresponsive shit. I unleashed the Howling Commandos on you and you have 24 hours to email me back before I call Fort Benning and embarrass the fuck out of you in front of your old Ranger buddies because you were such a secretive asshole we can't find any other information about you.

Phil you fucking jerk. If you're okay I'm going to kill you myself.

***

Howling Commandos HQ > Home > Forums

!!! IMPORTANT !!! UPDATE
(Sticky) Created by Bucky1956 on August 18, 2012

All —

Thank you for your gracious, persistent, and unflagging aid in the search for information about our fearless leader, PC.

We're heartbroken to report that last night, we received official confirmation that PC was among the victims of May's Battle of New York.

Some history:

PC stood for Phil Coulson, which is a perfect distillation of both Phil's taste for imaginative naming conventions and brevity. He and I first knocked into one another on the alt.comics.captainamerica in the wild, wild west days of Usenet. We expressed a shared loathing for the repulsively absurd Rob Liefeld Cap designs of the 1990s and a shared desire for a better resource for Captain America history, comic information, and intelligent conversation than the Usenet group was providing.

When we opened the Howling Commandos HQ Forum in 1998, the first three months it was more or less Phil and I writing each other open letters about our fatuous love of all things Cap, appended with long arguments about whether or not Cap was ever officially a member of the armed forces. (Me: No; Phil: Yes. This remains unresolved, and will remain unresolved going forward.)

The growth of the forum into a robust and dynamic place to talk about our collective favorite thing in the world was a point of pride for Phil. Cap, and what Cap stands for culturally and in the shared history of all Americans, had a particular resonance.

In our attempts to reach Phil after the Battle of New York, we cobbled together enough contextual information to risk reaching out to Fort Benning, the headquarters of the U.S. Army Rangers. They were confused when we called, but kindly took a message and promised to pass it along the appropriate channels — we weren't optimistic, but DumDum is a persistent bastard, and six days later, we received a phone call.

The Rangers' motto is "Rangers lead the way," and everything we know of Phil underlines how he lived the spirit and letter of this mission.

Phil worked in law enforcement, and on the day of the attack, he was among the first first responders. He died trying to help his colleagues and civilians. He was 51. He is survived not by family, but by his legacy of commitment to his nation and his patience and generosity of spirit to everyone in our community. He was a source of constant curiosity and enthusiasm for Cap, his legacy, and the research that's still being conducted on this moving target in our history.

Phil was a great man and a good man; he was a great friend. He will be missed.

For me, personally, what is cruelest about Phil's death is that I can think of no one who would have been more overjoyed to know of Captain America's return. We were robbed of a classic 45-page Phil Coulson report on the potential ways in which the supersoldier serum interacted with the Vita-Ray to make Cap unaging — mostly, we're robbed of Phil.

We'll share any further information we're able to gather, but for now, I think it is wholly in the spirit of Phil's life, his work, and his passion to direct you all to the Red Cross to make a donation in his name.

Buck.

***

To: Gen. Nicholas Fury (fury@usasoc.military.gov)
From: Brad Howell (brad.howell@research.boeing.com)
Date: August 19, 2012

General Fury —

Thank you again for taking the time to reach out to me regarding our friend Phil. I can't say at all that I'm glad to know, but I'm grateful to know, and as glad as anyone can be that he died protecting people.

Our community is pretty tight knit, and I've been contacted by more than one person who wants to know if there's anything they can do, anyone they can reach out to with condolences or help. Phil might not have had much time to share many beers down at the bar with us, but he was a solid friend, one of the good guys, and if there's anything we can do — we may be digital, but we're determined — please do not hesitate to let us know.

Regards,

Brad Howell

Director of Aeronautical Engineering Research | The Boeing Company | Office: 206.713.4678 | Cell: 425.887.9122 | brad.howell@research.boeing.com

Please consider the environment before you print this email.

***

To: Buck (buck1956@yahoo.com)
From: DumDum (dumdeedumdum@gmail.com)
Subject: Idea
Date: August 20, 2012

It's possible I'm just drunk and fucked up but fuck it, this is either madness or a stroke of genius and it's worth it either way to give it a shot.

Would it be completely fucking idiotic to write a letter to Cap? About Phil? I just — I'm so fucking sick over the idea of this. He didn't have a family and he died in rubble and all of his best friends were 1s and 0s and I just want to put some fucking flowers on his grave. I was powdering Asher's goddamn diaper rash tonight and just thought about if one day after Lisa and I are gone and if there was fucking nobody to wail at his funeral and I wanted to set the neighborhood on fire.

***

Dear Captain America:

My name is David Lesinski; I'm writing to you about my friend, Phil Coulson.

I recognize that you are likely receiving hundreds if not thousands of pieces of mail from people with every manner of demand and request; I sincerely hope whoever is screening your letters finds it in their heart to pass it on to you — and I thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.

I'm writing on behalf of the 5,000 members of the Howling Commandos HQ. You may never have visited the site, but it is the largest repository of Captain America history, information about the comic series, movies, cartoons and other assorted productions based on the historical Captain America. Phil Coulson, along with Brad Howell, established the website in 1998, and in the years since, it has been more than a resource, but a vibrant community of friends and enthusiasts. We are great admirers of yours, your work, the Howling Commandos, and we are eager to see what happens now that you've returned.

Phil was a former Amy Ranger and a member of New York law enforcement; he was smart guy and too courageous for his own good, and he was among many first responders who perished in the Battle of New York.

We recognize that the demands on your time must be a legion, but Phil Coulson was a singular person and great friend. He was also the biggest Captain America fan the world has ever known. He owned every newsreel, poster, and a full set of Captain America trading cards. (He would also tell you that aside from some slight foxing on the corners, the cards were mint.) He once eBay sniped Brad — ostensibly his best friend and longtime partner at Howling Commandos HQ — to snag a limited edition mug and then told us all he was conscripting it into service for America.

We understand from his former commanding officer that he had no living family, and a small group of us is collecting letters for a small service we plan to hold for him where he was interred at Arlington.

It would mean the world to us, and it would mean more than the world to Phil we imagine, if you would be able to write a few words for us to bring to his graveside. He was a patriot, a soldier, and a good man and he would be overjoyed to hear from you — even like this, I believe he would be overjoyed to hear from you.

We sincerely hope you're able to help — even something brief would be appreciated.

We plan on congregating for the memorial service on October 4.

Thank you for your time, and thank you for your service to our country.

Sincerely,

David Lesinski, and the Howling Commandos HQ.

***

To: dlesinski@optimum.net, brad.howell@research.boeing.com, clarkwatt@att.net, sunitapate1@gmail.com, john.b.grier@citi.com, trish_lawson@wachtell.com, gregcurrant@nyu.edu, capman@mskcc.org
From: simon.chu@starkindustries.com
Subject: Arlington
Date: October 2, 2012

Hey all —

If you could all just hit Reply All to this message and forward any flight itineraries, that would be great, and helpful in case anybody gets lost in the mix or your flights are delayed/canceled what have you. As discussed, I've got a guest room that sleeps two (double bed) and a futon in the office that comfortably sleeps two as well in case anybody decides to abandon their plans for crashing at the nearest Holiday Inn. I'm seriously happy to host. My partner, Colin, has informed me that he is at the Total Wine laying in a supply so we will be sufficiently stocked for pouring one out for Phil.

While, unfortunately, we never heard back from Captain America, it was always going to be a long shot, and we received a staggering 200 letters and 100 further emails from people on the forum to take to Phil at the cemetery.

Okay. While these are terrible circumstances, I'm glad at least that I'll have the opportunity to put a face to all of your horrible HQ handles after all these years.

Don't hesitate to call me at 202-304-0445 if you get lost or trapped on Dupont Circle coming in.

Simon.

***

David Lesinski (919-412-8434):
Hey, sorry I missed you guys, I-95 was a mess — where should I meet you? This place is enormous.

Brad Howell (425-887-9122):
holy shit lesinski. walk north over the hill and you will not be able to miss it fuck

David Lesinski (919-412-8434):
What?

Brad Howell (425-887-9122):
seriously just look for the anomaly that is us.

David Lesinski (919-412-8434):
HOLY ACTUAL FUCK

Brad Howell (425-887-9122):
yeah get the fuck over here i am not fucking around captain america is here

David Lesinski (919-412-8434):
JESUS SHITTING CHRIST

Brad Howell (425-887-9122):
what the fuck did you write in that letter you goddamn wizard

***

Dear Agent Coulson,

I don't know how to start this letter, really. After the fight, there was so much to do between clean up and reestablishing SHIELD protocols that by the time we all looked up from our desks, Fury told us your services had been handled. We should have pushed harder, and I'm sorry we didn't. This will not make you feel better, but Tony is in the process of auditioning experimental sculptors to design a bust of you to mount in the lobby of the Stark Industries New York headquarters. Pepper has expressed reasonable confidence to me that Lt. Rhodes would murder Tony in his sleep before allowing any of the nude prototypes to move forward, and I personally promise to destroy anything that would be embarrassing. Well, more embarrassing than a bust in general.

I wasn't fortunate enough to know you well, but during the too brief time we worked together, you were unfailingly gracious and good with your people. Fury told us what you did, going after Loki on your own, and I'm humbled by your courage; I hope we, the Avengers, can live up to the high benchmark you've set for us going forward.

You learn a lot about a man through his friends, and your friends have floored me with their conviction and spirit. Pepper had one of her four (four!) assistants pull the numbers, and your friends donated $6,187 to the American Red Cross in your name. They drove to New York City and volunteered their time and their cars to help transport injured and displaced people to their homes when airports were closed down and public transit systems all but completely shuttered. They donated bottled water and canned food, they helped rescue their neighbors' pets and checked up on the elderly people next door. They created a "thread" so that everybody could stay informed of the best ways to help, to pass along information. Tony showed us the forum, and your friends have colored the page black in your memory, but filled it up with good works in your honor.

You were the type of man that could help drive this kind of work, and I'm so regretful I never had the opportunity to get to know you like they did. I've signed your cards, although there's quite a bit more damage than foxing to the corners. Bruce says his experience being a relative shut in turned him into an internet shopping genius, and he promises to use as much of Tony's money as needed to find you a perfect set. I'll sign those, too.

When I received the letter from your friends at Howling Commandos HQ, I brought it to the rest of the team, and we all agreed it would be unconscionable if we weren't in attendance at this much-belated service. We are only sorry we missed the first, and hope you'll forgive us for being tardy. Natasha says you're probably used to it because Clint's never turned a single after-action in on time.

But you should also know that it's not just the Avengers (and Pepper) who heard and wanted to come. Agent Sitwell overheard the discussion at SHIELD headquarters and asked if he could join, and one after another we got the same request. I'm not sure how many people are coming, but we were told Director Fury made a call to Arlington to tell them we were.

Director Fury also told me — he told us on the helicarrier that you were his one good eye, that you held faith in old fashioned notions, and that you were the one who believed in the idea of the Avengers, that we would get our act together. Thank you for that. Thank you for believing, and for saving us, until we could, until we did.

Thank you for your service; you will be missed.

Sincerely,

Steve Rogers.

***

Howling Commandos HQ > Home > Forums

!!! IMPORTANT !!! Phil Coulson Memorial Recap
Posted by SunnyDaisy on Oct. 5, 2012

To everyone who kindly made donations, wrote letters and emails for the memorial event, thank you so much. The response was overwhelming and wonderful — as was the event itself.

I volunteered to write up this recap because DumDum and Bucky are literally co-cuddling Scythelord's mastiff (there's a lot of dog and drunk man to go around) while Scythelord and Mr. Scythelord photodocument the indignity. Also because I was the least fucked up from crying and I can still see to type.

It's not an exaggeration to say today was...lifechanging.

To start from the top:

Bucky, Watt, Grizmark, Lawwoman, Currantly, Capman and I flew into DC the day before yesterday, and DumDum — who was coming up from Greensboro — drove up the morning of the unofficial services. Scythelord and Mr. Scythelord were foolish/kind enough to host some of us and play tour guide, and we all met at Arlington at a little past 11 a.m. on Oct. 4 because we wanted to miss any potential afternoon visitor crowds — and you all had written a lot of letters we want to share with our fearless leader.

Phil's grave is new, clustered in with a lot of newer headstones, many likely from the same Battle of New York, and when we got there it was clean but lonely-looking: green grass and no flowers. We laid in our red carnations, our dogwood flowers, gladiolas, and roses, and began to start reading some of the letters, taking turns.

We were four in when we got company.

We got a lot of company. We got 100+ people of company, and they came in silent groups and clusters of three and four, and they stood fanned out around us, and when we got quiet and not a little bit scared — these people all had the grim black suit look of people who disappear other people for a living — Captain America appeared out of the crowd to explain.

Let me repeat that: Captain America came out of the crowd to explain.

Captain America, who is Captain America, came out of this rapidly amassing crowd to explain. He was wearing a black suit and had blue eyes, and that supersoldier serum is not messing around, because he truly hasn't aged a day. He shook everybody's hand and introduced himself unnecessarily, and then he said that he was so grateful we had written to him because he'd worked with Phil Coulson, that they'd been there together, the day of the Battle of New York, that he was glad to have this opportunity to honor Phil's service, his contributions, and to meet his friends. Because apparently when Phil said "law enforcement" in his forum profile, what he meant was "so high up the Fed ladder it's all redacted." God damn that guy.

And then after we'd all managed to stop choking on our tongues it just got more nuts: Tony Stark was there. Pepper Potts was there. (Scythelord handled the sudden appearance of his Head of R&D and CEO with the sort of dignity and grace that comes naturally to a man who once rode his bike into a prison fence.) A guy with an eyepatch was there and hung around ominously in the background. So were some other Avengers, including that guy with the fucking arrows that MSNBC is fucking obsessed with was there, and Natasha Romanov. Before you ask: the Hulk did not put in an appearance, neither did Thor.

And all the suits that were gathered around were Phil's old colleagues. They brought their own flowers, they brought Cap memorabilia (Cap looked horrified); they brought letters. They told us stories about Phil. They were pretty heavily redacted, but they were wonderful. Phil had apparently recruited, trained, or yelled at almost everybody there. DumDum told them all that Phil had recruited, trained, or yelled at almost everybody at HQ, too, and everybody did that thing where you laughed because the alternative was crying.

I'm making this sound awful, and it was. It was really awful, but it was also amazing. Captain America helped read your letters out loud when we were all taking turns; so did Tony Stark; so did Pepper Potts. Hawkeye tried, and when he couldn't manage it, some guy named Bruce in a wrinkled tie took over.

All of your HQ reps disgraced themselves crying.

We stayed until dusk, when the cemetery was getting ready to close, and when we left it was ridiculous — we were all ridiculous, because there's nothing so ridiculous as to find yourself hugging and crying on a bunch of dark suited spooks you've known for like five hours, and being grateful to know them, that they know you, that they cared about your friend, too, however thin that thread that links you all may be.

Captain America walked us to the gates of Arlington before he left with a cluster of the suits in unmarked black SUVs. We gave the bundled letters to Hawkeye because he was one of the last to leave, and he promised he'd keep them somewhere safe for Phil's friends.

Everybody told us to tell you guys hello, and fair warning: they also promised to check us out once they were home. Phil might not be banhammering assholes anymore, but Captain America might be watching, so everybody on your best behavior.

***

Howling Commandos HQ > Home > Profiles > PC

Username: PC (Mod)
Posts: 100K+
Contact info: DM
Location: New York, NY
Occupation: Law enforcement
Bio: Co-founder and chief moderator; new users should check out the FAQ here; disputes to the historical record belong in this thread. Pedantry that crosses into abuse will result in a one week ban on first offense, a one month ban on second, and a lifetime ban on strike three.
Quote: "Sua sponte."
User since: June 1998
Last post: May 3, 2012.