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[Everything I write here is dross. If you ain’t got the time, go to the link at the end. ‘Murica.]
Tired of bad ‘n blue news and data churning. Time for something inspirational.
A couple of themes I’ve mentioned before but have not braided together. After I retired from the military (and a short stint as a private security guy; yeah, no), I cheated by becoming a DOD contractor. Great job, great people–many of whom I’ve known and worked with for years if not decades, and have the utmost respect for. The work my crew does is often thankless, and everyone who ignored us for a year develops, when the time comes for execution, 20/20 hindsight enabled by the tardy appearance of the Good Idea Fairy. Aside from being one of the most productive elements of the unit (which no one really sees, ’cause we’re that good), we are hands down the happiest element of the unit. I’ve been stopped numerous times in the halls, with people saying in a down-low, surreptitious way, “hey, man, please get me into your directorate.” Dude, I’m just a contractor. My piece of the unit is awesome for multiple reasons, but the fountainhead is the boss.
Wayne P. (“Pat”) Richardson is a retired full-bull Colonel. One of the good ones. One of the best. Call sign “Papa Negro,” he is known throughout Central and South America. He helped grow a lot of officers that are now at higher command and Ministerial levels in the region. Last year, at an exercise, one of the Partner Nation general officers pulled up to talk to Papa Negro and assumed a rigid position of attention, and only chillaxed after multiple admonitions to do so.
Pat was introduced to the elephant early. He was a young Ranger lieutenant during the ill-fated Operation EAGLE CLAW, which met with calamity at the Desert One refueling spot.
After the Rangers, Pat went Special Forces and became geographically affiliated with Latin America. He earned a Bronze Star with “V” device (V stands for valor) in El Salvador during the ’80s. [Note: Pat will, when we get deep in our knickers telling war stories, throw an arm over my shoulder and counsel, “Mongo, when the CIA guy leaves your firebase for the night, that’s the night you’re going to get hit.” Yeah, I know/knew that, but it’s good to get validated now and again.]
Pat chose to be a Foreign Affairs Officer (FAO) and served for years as a military member of numerous US Embassies.
So, when he got promoted in that status to Full Bird Colonel, it was a big deal.
There are villages and orphanages through Latin America that Pat supports in a private capacity. He’s truly an American hero.
But he was born to an American hero. They paved the way.Published in