the Unending Journey of the Wandering Author

A chronicle of the unending journey of the Wandering Author through life, with notes and observations made along the way. My readers should be aware I will not censor comments that disagree with me, but I do refuse to display comment spam or pointless, obscene rants. Humans may contact me at thewanderingauthor at yahoo dot com - I'll reply as I am able.

Location: New England, United States

I have always known I was meant to write, even when I was too young to know the word 'author'. When I learned that books were printed, I developed an interest in that as well. And I have always been a wanderer, at least in my mind. It's not the worst trait in an author. For more, read my writing; every author illuminates their heart and soul on the pages they write upon.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tribute: Sgt. Major Larry Lee Strickland, US Army

Sgt. Major Larry Lee Strickland was planning to retire at the end of September, after thirty years in the Army. He had reached the highest rank any enlisted man can attain. During his service, he earned the respect and the admiration of the men and women he served with, and of the men and women who served under him. For ten years, he had advised the highest ranking generals in the Pentagon on personnel matters.

That morning, he was not even supposed to be at the Pentagon. It was his day off, and a nice clear morning; he should have been off fishing, or perhaps gardening. Although he enjoyed both of these pastimes, and had an additional reason for staying away, since at the end of the month he would lose whatever leave he had not yet used, he was so dedicated to his job that he showed up anyway.

There was to be an important briefing the next day on the future of the Army, and he wanted to make sure it would go well. Even though he would soon be leaving himself, he was so concerned with the service he had dedicated himself to for so long that he voluntarily exchanged a days recreation for the chance to help it move forward. Sadly, he was not to get that chance.

That was the morning a plane slammed into the Pentagon, cutting short Larry Strickland's life and postponing the briefing he'd hoped to prepare for. Although he was a warrior who offered up his life in service to his country, he surely never expected to die in a surprise attack by civilians in the heart of his own country. Yet even though could never have forseen the circumstances, Sgt. Major Larry Strickland died for his country just as surely as if he had fallen on a battlefield defending it.

That is true, not because of the nature of the attack which took his life, and not because of any of the events or the rhetoric which followed. It is true simply because Larry Strickland was there that day, and lost his life, because of his dedication to his country, and his determination to do his best for it even in the small things. He tried that day to do everything he could for his country, and lost his life as a result. No warrior can say more than that.

I apologise to the family and friends of Sgt. Major Strickland, and to his memory. Surely he deserved better treatment from the blogger who volunteered to write his tribute. I learned that tribute had not been written late last night, and so I determined to do what I could. My tribute is not yet complete, and I will update this post when it is done, but in the meantime, I felt it was better to post at least a brief tribute in his honour. This was originally posted on September 12th at 6:20 am; I chose to set the date to 9-11 as part of my tribute.

diigo it


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How sad that someone volunteered to write a tribute and then didn't. Better not to have volunteered at all, or ask for help.

At least you've stepped into the breach.

September 12, 2006 8:25 AM  
Blogger Blu Jewel said...

Thank you for this post. In the entry I posted yesterday, I mentioned that we should recognize those (members of the Armed Services) still effected by 9/11. I will check back to read your complete tribute.

WA, I think you and many others have done a phenomenal job in honoring those who died that fateful day. You are a blessed human being.

September 12, 2006 8:26 AM  
Blogger Motherkitty said...

My sister, mrsgreenthumb, told me about your tribute and asked that I visit your site. I am appalled that someone would volunteer to write a tribute and then not do it for whatever reason. They should never have volunteered if in the back of their mind they knew they would not complete the task.

Thank you for posting this wonderful tribute to a dedicated and brave soldier. Your effort is appreciated and I hope his family sees this tribute in his honor.

Please visit my site to view my special tribute to Cynthia Motus Wilson who died when WTC Tower 1 fell.

September 12, 2006 5:35 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

Larry Lee Strickland is undoubted looking upon you with appreciation. You have, as he did, gone above and beyond the call. Your effort is apprecaited.

I will look back to see your tribute to the Sgt. Major when it is complete.

I have posted an article I had published in October, 2001 related to September 11th. I would appreciate your feedback.

The Lives And Times Of Anthony McCune

September 12, 2006 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful thing to have an angel like you watching over Larry.

So that he was remembered.

September 12, 2006 10:40 PM  
Blogger Suzan Abrams, email: said...

Dear WA,

Ironically, this is beautifully written despite the monumental tragedy it conveys. It commands the right honour and is evocative of true emotions that surrounded Sgt. Strickland's life in this painful way.

I found it very sad & moving and immediately the tears started up. His time had come.

Peace & Prayers

September 13, 2006 1:18 AM  
Blogger Thy said...

great job. thank you for the tribute, it was very considerate of you to take on the job yourself.

September 13, 2006 1:48 AM  
Blogger RomanceWriter said...

You amaze me sometimes. It was really great of you to do this when you found out the other blogger didn't come through.

September 13, 2006 1:46 PM  
Blogger Third Mom said...

You did a wonderful job, and I know his family and friends appreciate your efforts.

September 13, 2006 11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

Not often do I quote from the Testaments, either Old ar New, but feel that such a statement is valid in this instance!

As a signed- and posted member of 2996, I wrote my tribute, and welcome your involvement in the place of one who 'Fell by the wayside'!

September 17, 2006 5:39 AM  

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