In his farewell address to Congress, General Douglas MacArthur quoted a line from an old barracks ballad, stating, “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
Yesterday, another great warrior, one who never received a lot of attention, to his liking I might add, faded away to a well-deserved rest. General Wayne Downing, the Secret Warrior, passed away yesterday from meningitis. I know the term “Great American” has been somewhat cheapened today, but General Downing was truly a Great American.
General Downing’s bio reads like a real-life Jack Bauer. General Downing was clearly against the “Rumsfeld Plan” known as “Desert Storm Lite” and one can only wonder what the outcome in Iraq would have been if his plan had been adopted. Now I don’t mean to be using my 20/20 hindsight with the Bush Administration, but when you hire an expert such as General Downing who abruptly resigns 9 months later, that is usually a clear signal that all is not well inside The Ring. I do advocate applying lessons learned and I’m not sure we’ve been on top of this.
Well, I didn’t mean to go off on a slant there, so please remember the Downing Family in your prayers today. Our country owes much of our freedom to that great warrior.