Monday, December 10, 2007

Because A Good Friend Joe was Lost


I met Joe about 4 years ago while we served as recruiters in the east Tennessee area, Kingsport to be exact. He had a young lady named Jen he wanted nothing else but to marry, he did. They were the perfect match for one another and had life by the tail and knew it.    Jen and Joe had a bond that overcame the stresses of the job. Joe knew that one day he was going back to the infantry, his first love and second to Jen. Mission was to make it day by day in Kingsport and get back to the job he had joined the Army for in the first place, lead infantry soldiers. He as an Active Duty recruiter and me as a Reserve Recruitier worked together to make out livings in USAREC bearable. I heard Joe say many times, "I can't wait to go back to the real Army", he wanted a squad of infantry soldiers to lead. I looked up to Joe even though he was an E6 and me an E7, I knew he had what it took to be a leader. So many good soldiers end up on a tour like recruiting and it makes them doubt their abilities. Joe was not a person to doubt his abilities but you have so many persons, I won't call them soldiers, who wear rank and expert infantry badges, airborne wings and other badges you earn by attending school, yeah right, schools. Leadership that has never lead soldiers only they have had the power given by USAREC to show real soldiers what they think it takes to make a soldier. As an example I give you a Command Sergeant Major that has never held a platoon sergeant position in a line platoon and has never earned his recruiter ring, yet, he is going to tell Joe, a soldier who was detailed with recruiting duty and earned his ring in 2 years by telling his story as an E6. All Joe wanted was to lead an infantry squad. The last thing I remember him saying on a tv interview was "My biggest fear is losing a soldier in battle". We lost a great soldier, giving his life for his soldiers and the American people.  

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