854th Wishes Dad Well, Weeks Before His Passing
This video is from the 854th Army Engineers Reunion in Kingston, NY July 2022.
Some Of The Men In This Unit Were Hard Core When They Were Soldiers
Some were Viet Nam vets who’d endured indescribable combat and suffering in the jungles.
One man fought side-by-side with the Marines at the Frozen Chosin.
One worked for decades in a supermax jail with the most twisted and dangerous souls you can imagine.
Tough men. Often hard to impress.
But my dad left an impression.
And they all loved him, in the extreme.
Yet they hurt so bad when he died that many of them couldn’t even speak at his funeral.
The pain was too huge.
Some of them stopped by the house to visit Ma, months later…
…and stood on the porch sobbing, unable to even say hello.
My Dad Impacted Hundreds, And By Association, Thousands Of Lives For The Better
Some of the men in this group had their cars, jobs, homes, marriages, and lives saved by his counsel and support.
He gave everything to them that he could, even when we often had so very little when I was young.
And Dad wasn’t afraid of the Brass, either.
But he knew how to move amongst them to get what he needed for his troops.
And he knew how to keep the troops all on the same page to get the mission done, in and out of the service.
He also orchestrated all the major get-togethers, for decades after he retired, this picnic being one of them.
He kept the monthly breakfasts going too, always searching for more guys to let them know that their era of the 854th family was still alive and well.
And needed their presence.
He retired 30 years ago, and his name is still spoken in the unit’s halls, by people too young to have ever met him.
He Retired A Legend But That’s Not What Drove Him
He simply cared for each and every solider under his command, and a few above him, in a way that retired with him.
And he is missed.
To The Fine Folks At “Building Homes For Heroes“:
This Is The Legacy You Have So Generously Supported