Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran Appreciation - RLTW

{Table decor from my sister's wedding | Sam was absent as he fought in Afghanistan}

{Sgt./E5 Samuel O. Greenwalt, A Company, First Ranger Battalion}

Last night as I was feeling sorry for myself after yet another late night at the office, I read over my blog post one more time before publishing. It was about oatmeal. And then it dawned on me that today is Veteran's Day and oatmeal does absolutely nothing by way of paying my respects to not only my brother, Sgt. Samuel O. Greenwalt (pictured above), but all of those that have fought so courageously and selflessly for our country and freedom [not to worry, the oatmeal post is coming next week...get excited]. One late night in my 72° office, comfortable chair and all the food & water I need seems pretty luxurious compared to the multiple days these men and women have stayed awake on freezing nights in the Iraqi desert or Afghan hills. 

My brother served with honor in the First Battalion of the 75th Army Ranger Regiment and luckily returned home safely after 4 years, comprised of three tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. Some of his other Ranger brethren, however, were not so fortunate including Sgt. James J. Regan of the Third Battalion. 

Regan, an All-American Duke lacrosse player, was deeply affected by the 9/11 terror attacks, which claimed many lives in his home town of Manhasset, New York. Upon his graduation from Duke, he turned down a highly-paid investment banking position at UBS and deferred a scholarship to Southern Methodist University Law School to join the army in 2004. After serving two tours in Afghanistan, his second tour in Iraq was cut short on February 9th, 2007 by a roadside bomb while on combat patrol in Baqubah. At the young age of 26, he was later laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetary earning a Purple Heart and Bronze Star among over a dozen other awards and decorations. 

Sgt. Regan's fiancé, sister to one of my college friends, stated in the Eulogy that 'Jimmy was a hero to many but always very humble. He always sought team success and not personal glory.' I echo these comments for my brother, Sam, and every other person I've ever met who has or is serving for our country.

Following Sgt. Regan's death, his family started a charity organization in James' honor called Lead the Way, established to raise funds in support of disabled U.S. Army Rangers and the families of Rangers who have died, been injured or are currently serving in harm's way. Next Sunday, November 20th, Lead the Way has organized it's 5th Annual 'Run Down Hero Highway' in New York, a 4.5 mile run (or in my case, slow jog/walk) along the Hudson River passed the Statue of Liberty and to Ground Zero. Register here for this great event (registration includes a long-sleeve t-shirt and celebratory brunch at Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers afterwards) or here to simply donate to the Lead the Way organization. Click here for a short video of the event last year. 

This blog post barely scratches the surface of my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the servicemen for such noble deeds, but it will have to do for the moment. I would encourage you all to thank a Veteran today because we would not live in a home of the free, if it weren't for the brave.


{Sgt. James J. Regan 6/27/1980 - 2/9/2007}

{4th Run Down Hero Highway last year}
60 other Army Rangers who gave their lives for our country


  1. so much more important to think about today than oatmeal. perfect post for today.

  2. huh. i'll have to see if my husband knows your brother; he was in 1st batt at about the same time... it's a small blogging world sometimes!

  3. Amen. I met Sam a year or two ago at SIU, down to earth guy. Never would have know he's served with the 75th until we got to talking.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...