A Long Time Ago
My buddies that were in the "Line Comapanies" did live a hard life.
In my memory, Cpt McChrystal was a popular Commander, so was his First Sergeant, 1SG Laws, a Vietnam War Ranger. All of us young kids held them in great respect. Alpha Co. was a crack Company. I don't know by what and who's standards, everyone claims some degree of greatness in the Military, but, at the time they had been dubbed the "best Infantry Company in the Army". There was obviously some chemistry in the Company. There was a reference to them as "Alphabots" for having a almost robotic mannerism. Veterans of different Ranger Bns will usually chuckle and say that every A Co. in the Regiment is kind of like that. I'm no one to say that it's true.
Before I got Mobilized for Iraq I corresponded with a guy from A Co. from those days and ran into another while I was at Ft. Knox this summer. Gen McChrystal is still popular with those guys. I say that because they speak positively of him. Rising so high in rank doesn't do it. There is a common notion that Senior Officers...And many Senior NCOs are out of touch. Being in charge doesn't make you popular. It's being you that makes you popular. And I've learned that having first hand knowledge doesn't make you right if you only look at something from one angle.
There is no man that was in that Bn at the time that I can glorify. At 20 "glorify" to me had a hint of blandishment, at 41 the word is vain. There's no man that I respect that I could do that to.
One of the figures that stands out the most from that era of my life was "The Purd"...My Company's 1SG. 1SG Purdy. He was later promoted to CSM. Stories still abound in circles from people that knew him or knew of him. Some actually show the different sides of him. Some stories I've not known whether to believe or not. Several years back he wrote a piece that was put on Col. Hackworth's web site. It's a popular...That word again...Rant article, posted in frustration by...I was going to say Soldiers far and near, but, "all sorts of people" is better. Soldiers are people. I see more of it than a rant. I've found advice in it.
All of the stories say, in some way, he was a tough Son of a Bitch...That he is. He WAS called a relic from the past and allot of people thought he was crazy and I'm sure they still think he is. People can believe what they want, but I will tell you something. He was no premodonna, he was no chest beater and when he spoke everyone listened.
Rangers Lead The Way!