Monday, March 29, 2010

William G. La Fleur BG (Ret.) 1942 - 2010

On Sunday night 28 March 2010, William George LaFleur, BG (Ret.), Captain of Chicago Police (Ret.), Rochelle Firefighter, Scoutmaster (Ret.), Brother, Husband, Father and Grandfather succumbed to pancreatic cancer and passed on.

He had been diagnosed in September 2008.  After over a year of chemothearapy, he had been being cared for by his family at his home in Rochelle, Illinois.  He was surrounded by his family when he passed.

He donated his body to science.

Services will be held the week after Easter.  I will keep you posted on the exact date through Illini6 and Flowers of Mundelein.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bread, the great equalizer

The best thing about living with the Afghan Army and Police was the ability to have plenty of fresh food to eat. Bread most of all. Every Army facility had attached bakeries to supply the troops with fresh bread. Each region had their own distinct type of bread. Including bread to be used as place mats. They also made bread with Garlic and Cinnamon for us. Fresh bread and good tea. maybe a little goat cheese. We are more similar than we think.



By the way, members of Congress and their staffers are exempt from having to take part in the Health Insurance reform measures. "Let them eat cake....
Rulers, not Servants.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Welcome Home, Honor Flight

Friday night I answered a request from the USO for uniformed service members to greet and Honor Flight home from Washington, D.C.

It seemed quite a production - but all too little for men that did what they had done.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

25 Years Ago...

March 9th, 1985 at the Urbana, Illinois National Guard Armory, I signed on the line. My enlistment contract in the Illinois Army National Guard. 11B10 - Infantryman, assigned as a Scout Observer to the Combat Support Company, 2/130th Infantry. When I called home and told my parents, they were rather startled.

To tell the truth, when I got to Fort Benning, GA for Basic Training, I was too. See for yourself...
A couple of years slowly getting my bearings and an officer's commission, I figured it out. Learn from NCOs.

Some schoolhouse training helped too...Good thing I had learned a little by 1993. I was called up for the Mississippi Floods that summer - and had to take acting command of a Company.

The rest of the 1990s went along merrily enough - oh, until all that Bosnia stuff got going. I had moved to the Army Reserves by then, and ended up leaping at the chance to help. I thought this would be my one adventure (since I had missed the Gulf War) before settling down for good... Of course, it wasn't all fun and games there... Back home and wait for 20 years and out, mmmm? Well, maybe a little bit of interesting work like helping train foreign militaries at multinational exercises in Ukraine...
But nothing much of note after that, right? Wrong.

I got to go to Afghanistan and lend a hand. Made some new life long friendships, cemented others. Got to get out and soldier. And then I got to come Home...

And then I was done...finally home from war, and at 20 years service. Time to hang it up and call it a career? Nope. Had a little hurricane, name of Katrina, get in the way.

So once that was over, all clear now? Uh, not so fast.

So, one more time I went. Got to help some good people get control of things in Iraq.

Of course, I have always had the privilege of working with the steadfast

The brave

And the brilliant

So the quarter century has been something alright. I joined to help stop the USSR from enslaving free peoples. I stayed in after the Soviets collapsed - and ended up helping Americans in floods and hurricanes, Bosnians post-war, Afghans and Iraqis in war.
The time spent away from home, family and friends has been hard. While I have discovered I am no coward, I really don't care for being shot at either... The wrenching ache of comrades killed or injured, saying goodbye to those you served with from other nations - all these have been difficult too.
But for what I have helped accomplish, what I have learned, how much I have grown from my service weighs heavier in the balance. Given the choice again, I would sign that enlistment all over again.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Coincidence ... or not?

I give an Officer Professional Development class on the EMAC (Emergency Management Assistance Compact) and after finishing, I get called on the drug testing list...


Actually, I thought it went over kind of well. The class, that is.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Today was a GOOD DAY?

More Orwellian speak from our elected leaders.
Kind of like his "The War is lost" comments.
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