One of Maj. Robert Rogers “Standing Orders” to his Rangers back in the French & Indian War was “4. Tell the truth about what you see and what you do. There is an Army depending upon us for correct information. You can lie all you please when you talk to other folks about the rangers, but don’t never lie to a Ranger or officer.”
I think of Cpl. Tillman’s selfless example of service to his country, his regiment and his friends every day. I look my Black-and-Gold Ranger Tab everyday and remember Pat’s charge, to “Earn the freedom fought and died for.” . I am motivated by his bright, shining example. I grieve for him, and those like him, and wish he were here with us today, for my sons and daughter to look at for an example of what is right in the world.
We had a saying that, for G-rated audiences, runs like this: Stuff Happens. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. What happened to Pat was bad. That his fellow Rangers are accused of violating one of their standing orders in lying about it, or even merely obfuscating, is a disgrace that apparently denigrates Pat and all Rangers simply by association with those who perpetrate the falsehood, who “sell their honor cheap”. But who was it who lied about it? Who covered it up? Who had a vested interest in either lying about it, or creating a mythical figure? I know men like Pat, and lies do not spring easily to their lips. Brutal candor is the bedrock of men like Pat, so mistakes made are never repeated again. Until I know where the untruth started, I will assume Pat’s fellow Rangers remain true to their honor and did not violate their 4th Standing Order, and honored Pat with their honesty.
Rangers-Lead the Way!