Reflections Of The Past Year

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“Most Men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them”

–Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience and other Essays

I can remember the exact day I arrived at this part of the blogosphere.

Tomorrow, it will be exactly 1 year. An avid follower of Lex, David Foster, made the announcement on his own popular blog. I started reading his links of his own favorite Lex posts, and by the time I got to this I was hooked.

Here is a guy who was a fighter pilot – a group not exactly humble. (And let’s face it – they are as a group  – pretty good pilots!)

And this guy is teaching the other fighter pilots how to be better.

But Our Correspondent sees the humor in this situation involving “TK” and “TKF” –  and can laugh.

At himself.

Been here ever since.

How would one describe Lex, if they never met him? I believe blogger xbradtc summerized him best last year .

“I only met him once, but I’ve known him my whole life. I grew up around Naval Aviators, and am the son of one.  When we met briefly a couple years ago, the awkward introductory phase lasted about 2 minutes, and then it was as if we’d sat in that bar many times before, and just picked up the conversation where we’d left off.”

As for me, having vicariously “met” Lex over the last year I believe that I now know him.

Regardless of whether you are a civilian or veteran, Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy or Coast Guard, Lex had a way of becoming your shipmate in a hurry.

I have learned more about Navy life in the last year than I ever knew. And a lot of it was introduced with a lot of humor.

Reading the story of “Sport”, I was laughing so hard tears were coming. Sometimes, I guess, getting a call sign can be a brutal process.

By the way, I want to thank Todd for having the discipline, and the obvious admiration & respect for Lex, for taking the time to bring back some of his favorite posts.

Every day.

For 365 days.

I can’t help but think that Lex would give him a smile and a nod.

It’s because of Todd that I have learned so much about Our Correspondent.

Some things about Lex I picked up over the last year:

He was a leader.  Reading some of his posts – he reminded me of an Army captain I knew 40 years ago. Captain Charles Daly was a helicopter pilot, Army Special Forces in Vietnam, and became an officer after being a Sgt for some time.

Anyone he commanded would go off a cliff if ordered to do so.

He was that respected and admired.

Anytime, anywhere, Lex.

Lex was a man. No, not the generic “man” but a man. Ready to pulverize a “man” who was rude to his wife on a San Diego beach and at the same time laugh at his own expense.

He had the humility to see great leadership in Petty Officers, and lousy leadership in commanding officers. He saw goodness and greatness where he found it.

He felt the sorrow and hardness of life in others in a Pacific Beach second-hand store.

I believe his heart was torn when his wife or children had problems, and he was half a world away, unable to help. But military families are special and sacrifice themselves.

I think Lex would be so proud of his family.  If he never had the opportunity to tell them let me, who vicariously now “knows” him, tell them.

But I think they know that.

We all admire Lex for his skill as a pilot, but I suspect to get there he worked very hard – with focus, to achieve his goals. That is the part that is usually “behind the curtain” of success.

Thank you Lex for singing to us your song.

[sound of the Bosun’s whistle]

Attention all hands

 At 17:00 PST – 01:00 Zulu – we will honor our shipmate, Captain Carroll LeFon.

 Those who can honor him with a toast with Jamisons (for courage) followed by Guinness (for strength).

 Those of you deployed around the world – on land and the sea – who cannot get the preferred beverages – bring what you can.

5 Comments

Filed under Lex, Neptunus Lex

5 responses to “Reflections Of The Past Year

  1. Missed he is. Yet what a legacy he left behind. He gave us a roadmap for living a good, moral life. He showed how it was done, and how it was not done.
    He was a man among men; one of the finest people I will ever know.

  2. Pingback: Chicago Boyz » Blog Archive » It’s Been One Year

  3. Old AF Sarge

    Well said Brother.

  4. I did have the privilege of getting my butt chewed by Lex for a comment on the selection of the A330 as the tanker of the future…………………..
    CO to an LPO thing.

  5. A good post Bill. I stand by everything you said.

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