Friday, March 6, 2015

Three Years On

Captain Carroll "Lex" LeFon, United States Navy (Retired)
09 November 1960 - 06 March 2012
A lot of things have happened in the last three years.

Three years ago I was on assignment for my company. Away from the home office, away from my family during the week. Staying in a hotel.

Three years ago I was at my desk, laboring away in complete ignorance of an event which changed my life in a lot of ways.

My daily routine had been set for a long time, get coffee, boot up the computer, check the overnight mail and then read Neptunus Lex.

Three years ago today was the last time I ever did that.

For over 2800 miles away, an event occurred which took Cap'n LeFon away from us.

In the high desert near Naval Air Station Fallon, the weather dropped below minimums.

Up there in the murk, Cap'n LeFon was trying to get his F-21A Kfir* back on the ground.

Low on fuel, the weather making it impossible to divert, Cap'n LeFon did his very best to land that jet. (And his best was very good indeed.)

It was not to be...

Ode To Lex

Out on the flightline there is an empty spot.
Oil and hydraulic fluid stain the tarmac.
The proud warbird which occupied that spot
Didn't come home...

Out in the world, there is an empty spot.
Tears stain the very fabric of existence.
The proud warrior who filled that spot
Didn't come home...

We stood and we waited
Our eyes searching the far horizon
Ears straining to hear that jet engine sound.
Waited and watched all the long day, in vain.

Somewhere in the world, his comrades will lift a glass.
To his name and his memory a toast will be offered.
With his dear wife and lovely children in mind.
We'll remember Carroll LeFon.

Husband...
Father...
Poet...
Pilot
-- C. A. Goodrich

We remember him still.

We remember him always.

Godspeed Lex...

* Kfir is the Hebrew word for lion cub.

15 comments:

  1. Wow. Did it get dusty in here.

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  2. Tears in my eyes from reading your wonderful post. We were all better for having known him and learned from his writings (and laughed often). So hard to lose one who shone so brightly that early, especially for his family.

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  3. The hole is still there - curious to be impacted so much by a person unknown except through the blogosphere.

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  4. I all my life I have never so felt the passing of a man who I never met...

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  5. Though we newer met face to face, he was my brother. I grieved like I lost my my brother. The handful of times we chatted on the phone before he retired are worth more than gold. He was and remains a friend.

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  6. Good man, and he left a helluva legacy...

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  7. Thanks Sarge. Even though I'm not there this weekend, you're making me feel like I am.

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  8. I miss him. He was, I think, a good man.

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  9. Lex was the best...................
    Mentor
    Friend

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  10. I mostly lurked over there.
    He is missed over here.
    Raise a pint for me tonight.

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  11. Lex and the commentariat he attracted by dint of his personality and writing both collectively literally saved my life by preserving my sanity by just being able to talk with types that had my shared experiences. As Paul Tibbits said near the end of his life when complaining the peace activists criticizing the decision to drop the bomb had no concept of the tenor of the times back then, saying: "I can't talk to anyone under 80 anymore." Well, at Lex's place I finally found a unique collection of professional and collegial individuals with whom I could vent my frustrations, share my stories and soak in the collective wisdom. Buck and I, once musing over the phenomenon that Neptunus Lex had become, both reached the conclusion that we would never see such a like unique commentariate ever again, anywhere.

    I really miss the guy and all the rest over there now scattered to the four winds.. A once in a lifetime thing. Life has not been the same for me since. A lot of the joy has gone out of my daily existence. I wasn't over here yesterday as I spent the day getting drunk thinking about Lex. The Whiskey Front came in low and early..

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)