Thread: Awesome People
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Old 12-12-2014, 08:43 PM   #9
^it sings^
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 9,433
Short Story

You'd win that bet. Those are enduring traits.

While I was a student at the Defense Language Institute, Presidio of Monterey, CA, I was stuck there without enough time to fly home for Easter. As the ranking NCO I had administrative duties as a student leader; so, I put on my dress uniform and went to Easter dinner in the enlisted mess hall to ensure everything was going well for the other students there.

As I was sitting down at a table with my dinner tray, a full colonel came into the enlisted mess wearing his dress uniform accompanied by a woman in civilian attire. They went through the food service line; then, paused and looked around until he saw the SF insignia on my uniform. They came over to my table and he asked if they could join me.

As I invited them to sit down I saw Donlon on his nametag. It rang a bell as the name was required learning during SF training on unit lineage and historically key personnel: a *Captain Donlon was the first SF Medal of Honor recipient. I immediately looked to the top ribbon on his uniform and there it was, blue field with 5 white stars, the Medal of Honor.

I tasked a student at the next table with rounding up all the SFers present in the mess hall to join me with our distinguished guests. They stopped in the middle of their dinners, up and moved their dining tables together with ours and were appreciative of Colonel and Mrs. Donlon, there for language training themselves, spending their holiday with the troops. It's about the only time I wished I was better at small talk because I was embarrassingly at a loss for words.

*TRIVIA - There's a one word disparity between what the award citation says and what Special Forces Schools teaches in the qualification course. That disparity is actually pointed out during training. It's long been one of the ways those who actually went through the SF qualification course could identify those who just claim they did in three questions or less.
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