The Real Heroes are Dead


There are certain people that I think about at least every month who have made an impact on my life, what I think, and who I am–from those who are close to me and others are famous figures.

Some are obvious, like my family. The next genre, perhaps, is unsurprising. People like Levi, Mother Teresa, Bob Bonanducci, and others.

And then others still are relatively unknown, and I knew of them from some reading or study. Rick Rescorla is one of those people.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, in the last few weeks I’ve been going through lots of old papers and files, some of which contain stories and articles from years back. This was one of those transformational articles to me, and an incredible lesson in courage and leadership. It’s so good, I thought to post it on here.

Note that this was published in the New Yorker, but that it also contains a bit of strong language. So reader beware.

It’s an amazing love story between two people, as well as a look into the heart and composure of an exceptional leader. And it’s also a heck of a long article, but so worth the read.

The Real Heroes are Dead
As Susan Greer was walking her golden retriever one morning near her home, in Morristown, New Jersey, she heard footsteps behind her. It was just after six, on a warm Saturday in late July of 1998; she liked the quiet and the early-morning light. The footsteps came closer, and then a jogger passed her. He was tall and somewhat heavy, and appeared to be about her age—she was fifty-six. What really caught her attention was his feet. He had no shoes on. It wasn’t like her to say anything to a stranger, but curiosity overcame her, and she asked, “What are you doing jogging in your bare feet?”
The jogger didn’t stop, or even turn around. “I need to know what it feels like to run without shoes,” he shouted, and explained that he was writing a play, and it was set in Africa. Then he was out of earshot. Even though Susan hadn’t glimpsed his face, something about his voice made an impression. She felt sure the same could not be said about her. She hadn’t bothered with any makeup that morning and was wearing old shorts and a T-shirt.
The next morning, she and the dog, Buddy, were again on their walk when a dark-green Lincoln Mark VIII pulled up, and a man inside said hello. She recognized the voice from the previous day. “Why not come to breakfast?” he asked.

Click here to read the full story.

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8 Replies to “The Real Heroes are Dead”

  1. Sounds like the love affair I have with Univera. I saw, I questioned and I joined. Like all good marriages it was exciting in the beginning, the bumps in the road cause distention along the way, but in the long run, the love and admiration for Univera grew and grew. The honeymoon over, the transition over, we can now go on to show the world what a wonder we have became.

  2. Wow, and I am changed by reading this beautiful story. I welcome stories from that day and hearing the story of their life before that day is touching and inspiring to live a great life, enjoy what we have,to encourage others and to protect what we have. Go forward with conviction and never give up.

    Thank you for making this article available for us to read.


  3. Thank you Raz! I needed that both from the love side and the warrior side of life. I still remember the radio communication of those nights from the Ia Drang Valley. I was safely on board the USS Galveston with only the resonsibility of troop support(1965). But, like Univera, it has all been a learning experience. It’s great to keep on growing, even at 70. Need about 50 more years just for fulfillment!

  4. Capt Ron, you can probably really appreciate the story, and I’m sure it strikes close to home. 50 more years!!!

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