Texas A&M and Thoughts of Death

My son Brady once told me that he always rooted for Texas A&M’s football team because “Granddaddy went there.”  Buzzy attended Texas A&M while he was in the Air Force and stationed in Texas.  He had a picture that he took of A&M’s annual bonfire which in 1999 became well known following the deaths of 12 folks and injuries to many more when the pile of wood collapsed click here for more info. 
I’m reading Bob Woodward’s book O’Bama’s Wars then and the following excerpt on Secretary of Defense Bob Gates made me pause for a couple reasons:
For four years before becoming secretary, Gates had been the president of Texas A&M University.  He loved “Aggieland” and quickly formed a bond with the school that, other than the service academies,  produced more military officers than any other college.  As secretary, Gates realized that there had been cases over time where he had signed the diploma for an A&M graduate, the deployment letter sending him into combat, and the condolence letter to his family.”  
The bonfire deaths were the result of a terrible accident due to trying to build the pile of wood too high, in a word overreach.  I’ll leave it to you to conclude what you will about any similarities between the bonfire deaths and what Gates is contending with having to sign condolence letters for those who have died in the Mid East wars.  The operative word for both events is “tragic” but a case could also be made for “avoidable.”

Buzzy Receives Hug from Reagan Who Said “He Must Not Have Expected to See Me Because He Always Wore My Villa Julie Hat When He knew I Was Going to Visit Him!” click here.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: