It's not a big deal, just my way of thinking about one person that has made my freedom possible and allows me the gift of freedom to go out an enjoy a run. This month I ran for Col. Mike Butler and I want to share a little about why below.
As I look back at my 22 year military career I can come up with one person that had the biggest impact on me and it was Col. Mike. We served togther in the late 90's when he was my directorate commander on the Inspector Generals staff. Col. Mike was one of the most level haeded, calm, and intelligent leaders I ever met; but his impact on my career was personified in his Honor and Integrity. He was the reason I got promoted to E8 and became First Sargeant, however it was "how" I got promoted that stands out.
In 1998 I missed promotion by .2 points. After a week or so I got over it and started to prepare for next year when Col. Mike found out that a medal I had been awarded was not in my records because it got left on his desk. The medal was worth 1 point and more than enough to push me over the top. Now, the easy thing to do would be say sorry about that but you're a shoe in next year because in order to "try" and fix this he was going to have to put himself out there and sit on a sword....He Did!
He went to the Two Star General and explained how this was on him, he went to the promotion authority in Texas and did the same thing. Long story short he fought tooth and nail to get it counted, fixed, and me promoted for an error I did not really know about. This is just one of countless examples of how he "Always" did the right thing. It's who he was, an honor, integrity, and core values first leader that loved the military and his country! He was a great mentor to the SNCO Corps and really acted as a mentor to me and many of my friends on the IG staff at the time with his cool under pressure, always do the right thing style, and most all Service
12 June, 2007: Col. Mike Butler was riding in a five car convoy in Tikrit, Iraq when the car he was in took a direct hit from an RPG. He is laid to rest among Heroes at Arlington and is one of the 6052 killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11/01. On the Memorial remember a Hero in your life, a friend, or one you have heard about and thank them for in your own way for the freedoms we all have.
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." Ronald Reagan
40th president of US (1911 - 2004)
More at: www.victorluebker.com