As I get a bit older it seems like Memorial Day strikes me more and more.
As I get a bit older it seems like Memorial Day strikes me more and more.This Monday's holiday I'll pause even longer to gives thanks and praise to all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice or who are wearing our countries uniform today to all us all to continue our way of life in the greatest country in the world.
Let me explain.
Last Tuesday, I woke up early and saw a missed call on my cellphone – a call from Jimmy Diorio, my best friend from our West Point cadet days. Listening to his message, I knew right away from the tone of his voice something was terribly wrong. One of our running buddies, Colonel John McHugh, has been killed the day before by a car bomber in Kabul.
Johnny Mac had grown up with Jimmy Diorio in northern New Jersey. Several times while at West Point, Jimmy, John and I took our buddies to the Meadowlands for night racing. John and I kept in touch over the years because of his interest in horseracing and also soccer. John was Captain of the Army Soccer Team in 1985. I've always said being Captain of a major collegiate sport at West Point is a tough thing to do – almost everybody thinks they are boss at West Point!
Seemed like everytime I communicated with John over the years, he and his wife, were having another child. In fact, John and Connie have five children and a young granddaughter. Their youngest son, David, is five years old. His oldest, Michael, is a warrant office in the Army and stationed in Iraq. Michael escorted his father's casket home from Afghanistan last week.
Johnnie Mac was the highest ranking officer killed in either the Iraq or Afghanistan wars. He really was a wonderful human being. I never heard a single negative or cross word spoke about him – not one. How many people – in this day and age – can a statement like that be honestly made?
Well done, buddy.
I've included a few links to read about the incredible life of John McHugh.
This Monday, take a moment to pause and give thanks for the service of Johnnie Mac and all his brothers and sisters in arms.