Some Still “Get It”

| November 12, 2012

As you get older you get somewhat hardened by life.  You deal with disappointments, betrayal, the “system”.  You learn that you don’t always get what you think you deserve, and that what is “right and good” isn’t always what happens.

So as you age you tend to take on a more cynical view of life.  You develop a thicker skin; you learn to deal with disappointment.  You expect bad things in the world around you, and from people in general.

You have little choice.  The reality is that the world is full of stupid people – and of those who don’t give a damn about doing the right thing.  Reality rubs your nose in those facts.

Then something happens that reminds you that there are still some left who “get it” – who embody class, respect, and doing the right thing.  That there are still some proverbial “good guys” left.

Some time ago, I was forwarded two photos.  They speak for themselves.

The first is a photo taken at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial – the Wall.

I’ve been there once.  From photos and descriptions, as a young man I thought the design was foolish and inappropriate.

Damn – was I naive.

A few years ago, I visited the Wall.  In person, the somber, quiet dignity of that monument hits harder and makes more of an impact than I can describe.  But that’s another story altogether.

Back on topic:  the first photo shows one panel of the Wall.  Reflected in it are the images of the photographer and two of his friends or family members.  The names are fairly clear, but in the softcopy of the photo I have not all of them are readable.

At first glance, there’s nothing special going on here.

Then you notice, at the bottom of the segment, three small 3×5 notecards resting against the black stone of the Wall.  The second photo is a closeup of one of these notecards.

If the name at the bottom seems familiar – it should.  The card was signed by General Peter Pace, USMC (Ret), former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  The note was written the day he retired.

Military leaders don’t make it very far without the support and effort of their subordinates.  Some forget that fact along the way, as well as where they came from.

Looks like General Pace never forgot.

Category: Real Soldiers

Comments (21)

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  1. 15DAZNG says:

    Thats pretty outstanding.

  2. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Hondo, I agree that I have become ever more cynical as I have aged…you just see the same bullsh1t lies year after year, then decade after decade and you come to expect guys to not surprise you when they do something sh1tty…so when you see someone doing something honorable, or decent, or just being polite and civil it restores some of that original expectation of decency from the rest of humanity.

    Great article thank you for this today.

  3. LebbenB says:

    Class move!

  4. Green Thumb says:

    Roger that.

  5. Thunderstixx says:

    No surprise to me from Gen. Pace.
    No surprise at all. Guido Farrino must have been one hell of a guy to get this kind of recognition…
    Those names are the heroes, the real heroes.
    Thanks to all this Veteran’s day.

  6. B Woodman says:

    Such leaders — too few, too too few.
    Now I need to clean my glasses, it’s getting blurry in here.

  7. DefendUSA says:

    Amen, and Semper Fi…The guy is all class.

  8. RunPatRun says:

    I’ve seen this previously. He is a class act. From wiki:

    On one of the last days before retirement, Pace gave a speech at Chaminade High School on Long Island, the high school of the first Marine who died under his command…

    After his retirement ceremony, Pace left to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. There, he left several handwritten notes dated for that day, with a set of his four-star General insignia attached to each one. Each note was similar to this one:
    “For Guido Farinaro USMC These are yours — not mine! With love and respect, your platoon leader, Pete Pace.”

  9. DaveO says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

  10. Ex-PH2 says:

    I see things like this at local memorials, with no one signing the message, just leaving it.

    Thanks, TAH.

  11. OWB says:

    And there it is. That something which none of us can adequately explain. But we know it and recognize it in others.

  12. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Here’s a link to the speech General Pace gave to the Chaminade High School…

    It’s worth a few minutes to read it…

  13. OldSoldier54 says:

    We lost Pace and got … Dempsey? Oh, man …

  14. LIRight says:

    #10 and #14

    Chaminade HS is one of the excellent Catholic schools here on Long Island – like all of the comments herein about Gen Pace – yours are as classy as his.

    Great story, Hondo – – thanks for the post.

  15. LIRight says:

    #14 Veritas Omnia Vincit

    I just read the story at the link you provided – a very emotional experience for me…..Gen Pace is one helluva man!

    The parallels between Petraeus and Pace are inescapable.

  16. pete says:

    God,,,i miss these real leaders!

  17. mcrecon says:

    Class Act, SEMPER Fi. Too bad we don’t have leadership,integrity, and courage amoung people
    running this nation in D.C.

  18. Ann says:

    General Pace is the epitome of how a leader should act. How’d we let him retire?! I’d say I wish he’d go into politics, but he’s got way too much integrity for that ‘career.’

  19. SFC Holland says:

    much respect. I wish more still would “get it”.