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Monday, November 23, 2009

Command Sergant Major Hodge


You just never know who you will meet on any given day. This note is not about motorhome travel but about one of the most interesting people I have met this year.
I am a real estate appraiser and on an assignment today, I met a true, military warrior.
Command Sergant Major H. D. Hodge, Retired.
Now my four year experience in the U. S. Navy included many Navy Seals, Green Berets, Marines, Army and Vietnam warriors. However, Sgt. Maj. Hodge took my attention from the first moment. This man served his country for 40 years including Korea, and 3 tours in Vietnam.
He is quite unassuming, gentle spirit but command your attention. His experience includes 10,000 plus free fall jumps, special forces, recon and rangers. Do not, I repeat, Do not challenge this man. At age 80 he is an imposing figure and would not quarter any lack of respect. It takes two men to wear the medals on his dress uniform.
I have two step sons. One in the National Guard and the youngest entering the Regular Army in February 2010. I hope to have them meet Sgt. Maj. Hodge for the wisdom only he can impart. A funny story here. Sgt. Maj. Hodge was sent my family to an assisted living facility in another state for this care. However, Sgt. Maj. Hodge had other ideas. He escaped the facility, drove himself home and has remained independent. Alas, the Dr.'s have removed his driver's license and he must leave his home. Now, if you have any young men who need leadership, just move this guy into your home and I can guarantee a well run unit.
I have worked for Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Admiral King (6Th fleet) and numerous Navy Captains. However, except for Admiral Sumwalt, none have presented the command ethic as well as Sgt. Maj. Hodge. It only took a short visit with him to prompt this writing. I can only hope he will be happy in his new lodgings. Otherwise, I will probably meet him once again after another escape.
Admiration cannot be to easily achieved. We must not over look these remarkable men and women who serve our country in many conflicts and do not ask why, when or how come. They just do as ordered and protect our country. Hero is not a label they enjoy. They will tell you they just followed orders, did their job and took part in the American Dream. I ask that you all take a tour or visit to a VA center, hospital, nursing home or graveyard and touch your heart in respect for these veterans. They are part of the sinew that holds our country together and set an example for all of us to follow.
My last meeting with Sgt. Maj. Hodge was this afternoon. We ended our meeting on a sound footing. I reminded his that Sgt. Young ( my dad) told me not to be late for the Sgt. Major. would kick my ass. Sgt. Maj. Hodge laughed and told me his did not kick ass any longer. He had nothing but praise for the combat medics of WWII for my Dad. I continue to be humbled by men of this caliber. I left the meeting with a tear and I truly do not know why. Except the admiration for these men and knowing we may have so few of men of this caliber today.
Thanks you Sgt. Major for you contribution to our country and I can only hope your rank is recorded in the clouds for life eternal. A salute to you Sgt. Major.
Happy Soaring.

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