Flying through Iraqi air space, Capt. Todd Moore of the U.S. Air Force always has a reminder of home sitting right beside him.His
name is Curse.Todd, a 1985 South Bend Adams graduate, is a navigator on a C-130 Hercules transport plane, taking troops and equipment in and out of Iraq.His
buddy, Curse, is a goat, a stuffed-animal goat that Todd
bought outside Wrigley Field -- just one block from where Todd
now lives when he
isn't flying for the 440th Airlift Wing out of Wisconsin.
"Curse and I put our heads together and decided the best way to get rid of the curse was to ship him off to war," says Todd
, 37."It would build character, and this would give him the courage to face down the dreaded 'Billy Goat' curse."Todd
, currently stationed at a Kuwait air base, takes Curse just about everywhere, including on the combat missions during which insurgents occasionally take shots at them.
Curse has on his
Cubbie blue, but also is known to wear body armor and other military gear.
"The guys in the unit think I'm nuts," Todd
admits in an e-mail message."Other than the Cub fans, that is."He
is always worried that some St. Louis Cardinal-loving Marine will try to kidnap Curse.
Of course, Todd
has far more serious worries than that while serving since November in the not-always-friendly skies over Afghanistan and Iraq.
also tells us who the real heroes are.
"Honestly, we have it easy here," he
...Todd, a former banker, enlisted into the Air Force Reserves in between getting a degree in finance at IU and his MBA from Notre Dame.Originally in military intelligence at Grissom Air Force Base, he has been a C-130 navigator since 1995 with hundreds of combat hours under his belt.
"I am a fiercely patriotic person and saw this as more of a duty to the country," Todd
believes in what he
While back in Chicago, Todd
uses his Cub season tickets and also helps his older brother, Eric, and Mark Tarner in their new venture, the Chicago Chocolate Company
"Curse won't accept anything but a World Series victory," Todd