Monday, November 05, 2007

USMC - The Few - & General Peter Pace

The Few
US Marine; General Peter Pace at Vietnam Wall

Army Times - October 29, 2007

On the morning of Oct. 1, Marine Gen. Peter Pace spent an hour on the Fort Myer, Va. parade ground, listening to President Bush and Defense Secretary Robert Gates pay tribute to him as the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and for his 40 years of uniformed service.

Then Pace, still wearing his medal bedecked dress uniform,climbed into a car with his family and drove across the Potomac River to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. He walked to panel 50W and placed at its base an index card on which he had pinned a set of his silver four-star rank insignia. Handwritten on the card were these words, "For Guido Farinaro, USMC...These Are Yours - Not Mine! With Love and Respect, Your Platoon Leader, Pete Pace."

Pace had laid down his rank for the first man killed under his command, back when he was a green rifle platoon leader in Vietnam. Farinaro, a 19-year old lance corporal, was standing next to Pace when he was felled by a sniper's bullet on July 30, 1968, in Quang Nam. Pace kept a photo of Farinaro on his desk during his years in the Pentagon.

In his own remarks earlier in the day at Fort Myer, Pace had mentioned Farinaro and three other Marines he lost in Vietnam. Then he went to the Wall to remember and honor all four. Two panels to the right of the one bearing Farinaro's name, he laid down three similar cards - each also pinned with his four stars.

Pace's former spokeswoman, Marine Col. Katie Haddock, confirmed that the cards were, indeed, left there by Pace.

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