Best friends would do just about anything for each other. They stand by your side, no matter what. That was true for Kevin Elliott and Barry Delaney. The two were friends for life, but when Elliott died tragically while serving in Afghanistan, Delaney suddenly realized he would have to continue in life without his best bud. Delaney remembered to honor a promise he made to his friend and arrived at the funeral in an attire no one would ever forget.
Best Friends From The Start
Elliott and Delaney were destined to be best friends since they were introduced to each other by Elliott’s sister, Kirsty, in 2005. They spent countless hours together, bonding over delicious food and drinks at their favorite restaurant, Fat Sam’s, in Dundee, Ireland. But their friendship was more meaningful than meeting at bars and restaurants. They shared their dilemmas and asked for each other’s input on important life decisions.
In 2009, the two friends had a serious conversation on what would happen if Elliott, a British Army soldier, was killed during his service. Private Elliott was soon to be scheduled to return to Afghanistan, despite his concerns about re-enlisting after already serving in Iraq and Northern Ireland. He considered leaving the Army but ultimately decided to serve one more campaign, knowing it was the right decision to protect his country but also his fellow colleagues.
Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Cartwright, Elliott’s commanding officer, wasn’t surprised by Elliot’s decision to re-enlist. He referred to Elliott’s heroic acts of “selflessness” and that he was a “big team player.” But even though Elliott was brave enough to keep fighting, he knew he might not return home safe this time.
A Simple Promise
Before leaving for his next assignment, Elliott confided in his friend, Delaney. He shared his concerns about the increased number of booby traps that were camouflaged in the Helmand Province. He had previously witnessed several infantrymen step on a disguised bomb, immediately killing the brave men. Elliott felt he wouldn’t make it out of the battlefield alive this time. He had already been lucky. How many times would he be so fortunate and lucky?
Delaney knew his friend was concerned, so he decided to cheer him up by making him laugh. He promised that if anything disastrous happened to Elliott, he would wear a neon dress paired with equally bright socks to his funeral. The friends laughed, but Delaney hoped he would never have to fulfill that hilarious promise.
Honoring The Promise
Unfortunately, Elliott didn’t make it back home from the war. While keeping watch one day in September 2009, he was hit by an explosion resulting from a rocket-propelled grenade in the Babaji district. Delaney was devastated to lose his best friend, but he knew he had to fulfill the promise he made. Everyone was shocked when he arrived at the funeral wearing a skimpy neon-green Primark dress, paired with fluorescent pink knee-high socks.
A few funeral attendees raised their eyebrows at Delaney’s appearance at first, but everyone was made aware of Delaney’s promise to his beloved friend. Elliott’s sister, Kirsty, hugged him tightly, and Elliott’s grandmother, Margaret, held his hand. They reassured each other that everyone was going to be okay.
At the somber burial, Delaney knelt down beside Elliott’s grave and asked if he liked the dress color. He broke down in tears when he realized his friend could no longer answer him. Delaney was happy to honor his promise to Elliott, but he wished his friend could have been there to joke about the dress with him. Delaney remarked, “He was such a livewire, always full of energy. Every moment with Kevin was a good time, he wanvted to put a smile on everyone’s face.” And that’s how Delaney will always remember his fallen hero—his bosom buddy for life.
Barry Delaney in the dress he had promised to wear to the funeral of his best friend, Kevin Elliott. pic.twitter.com/pR1uPFTr2H
— Unbelievable Facts (@UnbelievableFts) March 15, 2013
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