Under the wide and starry sky,
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.
Requiem – Robert Louis Stevenson
Arlington National Cemetery
Every year a non-profit organization, Wreaths Across America, decorates graves in Arlington National Cemetery. This year they’ve fallen short of their fund raising goal. You can read about it here.
To donate, follow the link in the article, or the first one given above.
Earlier I had mentioned over on Facebook that the deadline was the 1st of December, new information indicates that the deadline is now the 9th of December. They’re still short, you can read about that at Breitbart, there’s a video as well.
The goal has been reached! You can read about it over at Breitbart.
Thanks to all who donated!
While it’s not exactly the design we settled on some months ago, that didn’t make the cut. Seems it was desired that all the bricks have a certain format, which makes perfect sense.
My daughter, The WSO, returned last week from Key West, survived the Hornet Ball Saturday night and finally had a chance to get out to the memorial today.
All in all, I think we honored our dear friend very nicely. I wish I could have been there for the dedication.
Next time I get out to Lemoore, I hope there is some grass growing near the memorial. I plan to bring a nickel or three…
To remember all of those fine men and women who went in harm’s way…
And didn’t make it home.
Filed under In Memoriam, Lex
So I’ve been following this (relatively) new blog “I don’t know; ask the skipper.” Started up in February of this year.
The guy has a way with words. Lots of good material over there.
So I’ve added him to the Blogroll. When you get a chance, check it out. Tell him “the Sarge sent me,” or not.
I think Lex would have liked this guy. Definitely an “OK-3.”
NAS Lemoore Aviators Memorial Statue
The WSO provided this update over at Facebook. For you non-Facebook types, here’s what she had to say:
For those interested in the progress of the NAS Lemoore Aviators Memorial…The statue has been paid for and they are waiting on the completion before they ship it here. Below is a picture of the progress made so far…looking good!
As updates come in, I’ll pass them along.
Filed under In Memoriam, Lex
In regards to the Aviator Memorial out at NAS Lemoore. My daughter (The WSO) got this information from LCDR Eric “Dook” Kenny, Safety/Admin Officer for VFA-14 (TOPHATTERS) regarding the brick size. And believe me, we’re getting the big one, final tally on the donations was $1258.25. Nice work folks!
To answer your questions, I’ve attached a picture of the demo brick the brick company sent us. This is the standard “small” brick that you can get for $250 or $500. The “large” brick is twice the size. I don’t have the measurements in front of me, but I believe the small brick is 8″ by 4″ and the large brick is 8″ by 8″. The amount of characters and lines can be adjusted depending on what you exactly want it to say, but for a small brick with no logo, we are recommending no more than 3 lines and 20characters per line (we can adjust that on a case by case basis). The less lines/characters the bigger the font can be. If you go with a $500 brick with a logo, we are recommending squadron logo on one half and something simple on the other half “VFA-2 Bullets” for example. If you go with a large brick, again we can really do whatever you want but logo and text lay out looks really good here (we could also do just a large squadron logo). So as you can tell just like TOPGUN, the answer to your question is: it depends. We are flexible and willing to ensure the brick encompasses what you envision. Bottom line is this is being organized by aircrew for aircrew so I will ensure everyone’s bricks look awesome.
– LCDR Kenny VFA-14
I think that’s it. Again, thanks to all of you. Once the memorial goes up, the pictures will be posted here. If I have to fly out to Lemoore to take them myself. And fly the Rhino sim again. And maybe get Big Time to give me a ride in the real thing…
Hey, I can dream, right?
“Normal” Size Brick
Over the weekend we raised over $1000 towards this memorial at NAS Lemoore (about which I posted a couple of days ago).
So now we need to think about a logo and some words to place on Lex’s “brick” at the Memorial.
Over on Facebook, I have proposed the following –
I based this logo on something I read at Lex’s place, namely this…
Finally there is the logo of “the Mighty Shrikes” of VFA-94, home based in Lemoore, California. I was the executive officer, and ultimately the commanding officer of this squadron. While I was commanding officer, we won the wing-wide strike fighter derby – I was immensely proud of my boys, and would have matched them against any squadron in the fleet, man to man. A blue collar bunch of get-it-done pilots that partied like rock stars in foreign ports. I had always considered myself no slouch in that category. Here I realized that not only was I no longer young, I was starting to get actually old. In an admin (where the 18 or so pilots share a hotel suite in foreign ports, sleeping where they can after the night’s amusements) in Hobart, Australia, I returned from a night of liberty in all the usually suspect places at 0400, thoroughly exhausted. over-served and jaded to discover I was the first one home. At 4 AM. What a non-hack.
I get the feeling Lex was pretty proud of those guys.
What say you?
I’ve tweaked the design a bit. Please note that at the bottom, in italics, I’ve made the word “Friend” bigger. To symbolize that this was donated by his friends. (That would be us.) The ellipsis at the very end is to signify eternity. What Lex was to his family, his shipmates and his friends will never die. We shall all meet again…
(And Snake Eater, it also says “Poet” on his marker at Fort Rosecrans.)
The Facebook Lexicans have decided to pitch in on this effort making a donation in Lex’s name. Someone mentioned also posting here so that the non-Facebook Lexicans can participate as well. And so here we are…
So here’s what we know, NAS Lemoore is planning a memorial out there to honor Fallen Aviators. The WSO asked me if the Lexicans would be interested in donating in Lex’s name, I assured her that we would.
Everything seems set up and ready to go. The WSO (my daughter) has volunteered to be the Lexican point of contact. She’s going to collect any moneys gathered through the Lexicans. I’ll have more details in a subsequent post. But for now we’re looking at a large engraved brick with logo at the least (it seems we’ll hit a thousand from FB alone) engraved with something along the lines of (as suggested over at FB):
CAPT Carroll “Lex” LeFon USN
Pilot. Poet. Husband. Father. Friend.
As for a logo I’m thinking perhaps a VFA-94 patch, the squadron Lex commanded. We’re still looking at that. Any other suggestions, chime in here or shoot me an e-mail (given below).
The WSO says she will have more details shortly, I’ll keep you all “posted”. (Heh…)
Here’s the Paypal information:
Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the name associated with the account is Erika Salliotte. (That’s the WSO, she’s also the POC for her squadron, VFA-2 at Lemoore.)
Like I said, more information will be forthcoming. You can also contact me at OldAFSarge@gmail.com if you need any more information.
From what I understand, the donations have already started to flow.
We are family. And it shows all the time.
While in the United States we mourn our military dead on Memorial Day and celebrate our military veterans today, on Veterans’ Day, elsewhere ’tis a more solemn occasion.
Remembrance Day (also known as Poppy Day or Armistice Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” in accordance with the Armistice. Wikipedia
World War I.
The “War to end all wars”.
The Great War.
The war which soaked the fields and forests of Europe with the blood of an entire generation. The war which led directly to the even larger bloodbath of World War II.
Who remembers these places today? Very few.
But these are not simply events in some dry history text. No, these were places where thousands died. Yes, thousands.
One of them was my paternal grandmother’s favorite uncle. My Father’s namesake.
Killed in action in the autumn of 1918. Mere days before the guns fell silent. Mere days before that 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
To those of you out there who remember this day for a different reason than we Americans, note that there is at least one of us Yanks who remembers with you. For much the same reason.
To my great-great-uncle, Robert Bain. Died for King and Country. Died facing the foe like many a Highlander before (and yes, since).
Here’s to you, Uncle Robbie.
Here’s to your entire generation.
For those of you who “don’t do Facebook”. (I get that, yes I do.)
This collection of photos, selected by The Hobbit was put together (and framed) by fellow Lexican Dwight.
This (as of Lex’s 53rd birthday) now hangs in honor at Shakespeare’s in Sandy Eggo.
Time for another pilgrimage methinks.