One Less Good Man

Full Story By OnTheWeb

One Less Good Man
by Joseph A. Kinney
September 30, 2007

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“In a few short days, General Peter Pace, the first Marine to Chair the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be leaving his post and the Corps that he has served for 40 years. For a Marine Corps in search of a few good men, they will have one less when Pace leaves. In fact, they will be losing a giant of a man who has asserted moral leadership in the face of enormous pressure just when it was needed….

“…there is no doubt that Pace is a warrior’s warrior, caring deeply for those who wear the colors of this country. He demonstrated moral firmness as a young platoon commander in Vietnam and continues to do so as his final day nears. In Vietnam, Pace’s platoon was often fired upon from the edge of villages, but never once did he blindly retaliate. This showed Pace to be a measured man, understanding his purpose and mission whatever the emotion.

“Throughout his career, Pace has shown that he knows right from wrong, a quality lacking in much of officialdom. It can be said that Pace began with a strong moral compass that he never lost….

“It is well known that Pace maintained a photo of a Marine under the glass on his desk. The photo was of Lance Corporal Guido Farinaro. This young enlisted man was the first man that Pace commanded who died in combat. Recently, Pace journeyed to Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York to pay tribute to the soul behind the photo. As one enters this Catholic School, there is a plaque honoring the 55 graduates who have died in combat. Farinaro’s name is halfway down the list.

“Pace told the gathered students that Guido was gunned down by a sniper. He recalled that as he stayed with Guido, ‘a sense of rage came through me, and as the platoon leader, I started calling in an artillery strike on the village where the round had been fired.’ As he began calling for the ‘fire mission,’ Pace noticed the disdain of a Marine standing nearby. He immediately knew that he was wrong, and canceled the mission.

“’Regardless what you do in your life, hold on to your moral compass,’” Pace said to the assembled students about this lesson. ‘When you are emotionally least capable of defending yourself is when the biggest challenge will come. If you don’t have an idea of what you will let yourself do and what you will not let yourself do, you may find that you have done something that you would never believe yourself capable of doing.’

“Pace continued with his lesson. ‘We don’t control when we are going to die. We do control how we live. I still owe Guido and his fellow Marines, and now so many others, more than I can ever repay.” He concluded: “I ask you to embrace the path that God lays out for you: do the very best you can on that path and take care of the people near you who look to you for leadership.’”

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Published in: on October 2, 2007 at 9:51 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That more men wielded the courage of this man. Bravo Peter Pace, a leader of men! GJV

  2. […] One Less Good Man Published […]


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