My Last Hero

It was hot but we didn’t seem to notice. There was the laughter of children, the smell of good food, and the eager greetings of family and friends filling the air. Once a year our family gathers. There was roughly one hundred people that have been waiting a year for this event. Some have been planning and working for that year to host this reunion and they did an absolutely wonderful job.

Unfortunately, I live to far away to help. I would have loved the opportunity to cut my uncles yard on a riding lawn mower. I owe him something from last year involving a Crepe Myrtle tree. My uncle and my father are the only two men I have known in my life that personified, in every way, what a man should be and how he should carry and present himself.

If you have read anything I have written then you know what high regard I have for my father and his twenty six year battle with Parkinson’s. Now let me introduce you to my uncle.

He is a retired life long soldier. He has walked through hell and came out the other side wounded and battered but standing tall and straight. He is the kind of man movies are made of, books are written about, and fathers tell their sons about. If you knew nothing about his past and just met him he has the presence and aura that makes you wonder…there is something special about this man.

He is covered with wounds and battle scars…some you can see…some you can not. But just like my father and his battle I have never once heard a ” why me”. He, like so many of his generation, are the personification of what it means to be a gentleman. A trait that seems to be withering away among young men.

He is my last living hero. I have been in awe of this man from my earliest memories. The only reason I jumped out of airplanes was because he did. Tell me…how much do you have to love and respect some one that you would jump out of an airplane simply because he did?

There is absolutely no way I could ever grasp the intensity of the life he has lived.

There is also no way he could know how much of a positive effect he has had on, not just mine, but so many young men’s lives.

He is Command Sergeant Major Michael Deeb….and I am honored and humbled to know him.

His awards:

Silver Star

Bronze Star ( x 5..yes 5.. 3w/ valor )

5 Overseas Service Bars

8 Service Stripes

Air Medal

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal

Army Commendation Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster

Army Of Occupation Medal

Combat Infantry Badge

Master Parachutist Badge

Meritorious Service Medal

National Defense Medal w/ Oak Leaf Cluster

Vietnam Cross Of Gallantry

Vietnam Service Medal w/Silver Star

He also recently received a letter of commendation from the US Congress thanking him for his service.

On this Memorial Day I want you to know I love you….and thank you

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10 Responses to My Last Hero

  1. Terry says:

    Make sure to show him this letter or read it to him

  2. Hey girl! It’s good to hear from you. He has already called me. 🙂

  3. Marie Taylor says:

    Good to hear your voice again. Hope all is well. You’re lucky to have such an uncle to look up to.

  4. I know that I am. I hope you are doing well. I’m going to plan a trip next year to see my son and travel up to the Redwoods. Any suggestions or advice?

  5. David says:

    I was able to figure out this time who you were writing about before you mentioned his name. Your Uncle Mike is an amazing and inspiring man … as was your father and my dad. I thought about you and your family all day on May 26th.
    I trust you are doing well.

  6. We are doing fine. Mom is finally with her sisters and I am sure they are in perfect harmony…like they always were.

  7. Bob Fleming says:

    Mike Deeb was my First Sergeant in Vietnam. He is a great soldier. We were sitting together when the Marine Corp F4 dropped that bomb on our command post. With his internals exposed, he did not complain. We were in 106th General Hospital in Japan. I think I was the first one to congratulate him on his promotion to Sergeant Major. Id be happy to serve with him again. bob

  8. Walt Brinker says:

    In 1967 at Dak To Mike was first sergeant of A Company, 2-503 Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade. I was a lieutenant, a rifle platoon leader, in that company. Mike was the best NCO I knew during my 23-year career, and he taught me a great deal about the best way to lead soldiers. He showed me how a first sergeant in combat is supposed to act, so that during my second tour, as company commander, I knew exactly what my first sergeant should be doing – and I made him try to be like Mike. Hang in there Mike. Happy Memorial Day 2017!

  9. Mark Busenlehner says:

    I had the privilege to meet Michael Deeb at the 173rd Airborne reunion Fort Benning Georgia 2016. A gentleman and another fine Soldier that I had been put in contact with by the name of Wambi Cook met me there in the Columbus Convention Center. That was also our first meeting. After warm greetings we went in search of the table where all of his old buddies were. Upon finding them Wambi introduced me to all there. Upon hearing my name a stoutly white haired gentleman spun around and said “Where? I need to meet you, I loved your brother!” Without another word we hugged and through my tears he told me things about my brother, as I was only 12 when he deployed. Mike told me many things that warmed my heart deeply and always will thanks for those days Mike and it was a pleasure seeing you at this year’s reunion and hope to see you in 2018. Still the best the 173rd has to offer have a happy but a little late Memorial Day Mike!

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