Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fearless and Smart

Saw this on a friend’s FACEBOOK post. This is the graduation picture of the US Army Ranger School at Ft Benning, GA. This class, 2-87, ran through several training phases (Mountain, Desert, Swamp, etc). Basically, it is a small unit leadership school for soldiers who are gluttons for punishment. After graduating from the school, the soldier wears a cloth black tab outlined in yellow gold and with the word RANGER on it (see above).

There’s a guy standing next to me named Frank Kennedy (Frank is 3rd row, 7th from the right; I am standing left of him). I didn’t know Frank very well at USMA. But, I got to spend a good bit of time around him during that winter. The guy was “top shelf”. I think of him, whenever I go back to that time. He was fearless and smart. He had an inner strength that few possess and an optimistic outlook that was endless. He was a guy that I really admired, a natural leader. He is the person that I remember the most in the photo.

Several years later, Frank passed away in a diving/scuba incident in the Middle East, leaving before I said thanks. Here's to you, my friend.

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