Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Man In Love With His Country

Roger Gardner, a name only known to only to a few, but what a lucky few, especially those who had the pleasure and honor of meeting him face to face.

I only knew him online, through this blog and his blog, Radarsite.

Roger was a peaceful man with a strong love of America. He too was a Veteran, but not a War Veteran, which he at times felt placed him lower than those of us who were sent to a War Zone.

That notion bothered me and corresponding with him I discovered that he served at a Radar Site far up in the frigid north of Newfoundland in conditions most of us couldn’t bear in the days before spy satellites circled the globe.

We developed a warm relationship as I assured him his service to America was no less than my own or anyone else’s, as it wasn’t. Anyone putting the uniform of America’s Military, at any time, is writing the same blank check payable to the country with their life.

We often commented on each others posts from our blogs, either on the blog sites or by email. I have had the impression one he liked especially was Veterans, Warriors and Heroes, not Victims as he once told me in email that it opened his eyes to the truth about Viet Nam Veterans.

Seeing Roger’s talent, I felt honored receiving such a compliment from him.

Roger was a brave man, braver than he even knew. He showed it over the past year after being diagnosed with terminal leukemia, going through chemotherapy and even continuing his Patriotic writing for as long as he could.

He fought for a year, succumbing to the cancer last Thursday evening, December 17, 2009 at Merrimack Valley Hospice in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

We all knew it was going to happen, but that doesn't make it easier to lose such a great friend.

Rest in Peace Roger. You fought the good fight and we are all better for having known you.

Til we meet again on Fiddler's Green, my friend.

No better friend could any of us have ever had, in person or online.

My deepest and sincerest sympathies and condolences to his family, loved ones and especially to his online family.

You will be missed, Roger.

Roger Gardner 1936 - 2009

Photo courtesy of Norman Hooben

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