This Memorial Day with COVID-19 has given me time to really think about the honor of this day. I have always told people when they thanked me for my service on this day, that today is for those who gave their lives. My day to be honored is Veterans Day. Which I still hold true. This day is for those who are here no longer, and we are to remember them and honor their service. Hence, this once being called Remembrance Day.
The first person I will honor is someone of my family I never met. It is my uncle Roy, who was killed in Vietnam months before I was born. The stories I heard from Grandmother, my dad and my uncles told me of who he was. I saw a few pictures of him as I grew up and the ones that stuck out were the ones in his Army uniform or those of him in Vietnam. SP5 Roy R. Robinson is the influence that drove me into the military, first the Ohio Army National Guard and then 25 years of service in the United States Army.
The second person I would like to honor is 1SG Douglas Radowski, He was my 1SG in Germany and although he did not die in combat, he died while serving having a brain aneurysm after running PT. 1SG Radowski taught me true leadership in and out of the field. He was probably one of the best tankers I have ever met in my career.
Next is SGT Michael Woodliff or “Woody.” Woody and I served in the same battalion together in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 until he was killed in early 2004. On Bandit Island I lived next to Woody’s mortar team and we would all go to chow together. Woody and I would work out together at the gym the unit made on the camp. I kind of took him under my wing in professional development and he in turn in physical development for me, and we became good friends. Woody was a friend to all, and a loss to all, when he fell.
Lastly, I would like to honor all of the Bandits of 1st Battalion, 37th Armor, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division who gave their last full measure and served with me, also the Black Knights of 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor, 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade who gave the full sacrifice, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, while we were there. These were great warriors doing their duty for their country.