(Please understand that at the time of this writing Tom Greer is indeed still living) It is with a profane sorrow that I push this essay to the editor of SOFREP. I seize the opportunity to further a personal agenda of mine.

It did truly catch up with me eventually, the pain of the loss of so many vaunted peers of mine. Even as the readers remarked time and again that the writing of such stories must be difficult for me. In fact it was not difficult at all, other than my personal penance for failure to express my true appreciation for these men.

Words are too analogue for the task.

I take profound pride in the many generous terms that we parted on, me and the boys. I could not frankly be more pleased with the relationships I had with all of them. I became vexed early on with the attendance of funerals for men lost in combat and life, where the usual suspect compliments ensued… what a great father, brother, husband, son, and how he is ‘up there in heaven smiling down on us…’

Are we all really that daft?

I get it though: funerals are for the living. Yes, well we certainly have to send them off with a proper burial, right? We can’t just usher them off without their Christmas dinner, now can we? Can the melodrama pour out any slower than it already does from the jar that Eleanor Rigby keeps by the door?

I’m not poo-pooing tradition; I actually embrace the dogshit out of tradition, lest it be all but swept away by our hip-hop rappin’ turd of a legacy. I have been keen on the opportunity to gush about a great American to his face, not to his coffin. Tom Greer, in all his insane generosity, has provided me with a golden opportunity to do that. Here’s to you Tom:

I don’t know Tom. I’ll bet you didn’t expect that. Tom got to my own A Squadron after I had already retired. I mean we saw and greeted each other as professional adult men do, but I never met Tom in person. Tom was essentially my replacement in Delta.