Fighting for the truth . . . exposing the corrupt
COL. BRIAN D. MOORE, USMC (RET)
1935 – 2003
REST IN PEACE, DEAR FRIEND
By MAJ Glenn MacDonald, USAR (Ret)
I first met him in the book stacks at the Military History Institute some 10 years ago. Brian was doing research on the life of the late Gen. James M. Gavin. I was always interested in the “boy general” as he was known. Gavin pinned on his first stars when he was 37 years old.
From that mutual interest in military history, we found we had fought in Vietnam during some of the same years – Col. Moore doing two tours with the Marines, 1965-66 and 1968-69; and I, serving consecutively, from 1966 to 1969 during the bloody Tet Offensive.
What a kind and gentle man he was. Such quiet dignity. He had a warm smile and generous manner that won him respect and affection wherever he went. I think every person he met during his years at Carlisle Barracks was the better for having known him.
When I was on temporary active duty at the Barracks during the period 1994 to 1996, Brian and I would frequently have lunch together, and sometimes in Root Hall I’d visit him and talk about military history – one of his great loves, along with his wife “Stormy,” football, and the United States Marine Corps.
Brian was never one to boast, and it wasn’t until later that I learned he’d earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star for Valor, and three Purple Hearts during the 26 months he served in Vietnam.
We shared many of the same views, political and otherwise, and I remember him looking downwards and slowly shaking his head when we talked about cowards and “wannabees.” If anyone met the definition of a combat leader and true hero, it was Brian Moore.
Thanks to a kindly colonel and member of the faculty, (you know who you are, sir), I was able to speak to Brian by telephone during my recent visit to Carlisle Barracks. The colonel could see the disappointment in my face when he told me Col. Moore was down in Gettysburg with a tour group. I had so looked forward to seeing Brian once again.
“I think I can get him on the phone,” the colonel said. And he did. Brian and I had a delightful talk for maybe seven or eight minutes and then he had to go, but as long as I live, I will be grateful to that fine officer at the Army War College who took a few minutes out of his busy day to put a couple of old Vietnam vets back together, even if on a telephone, for what has proven, now sadly, to have been the last time.
In accordance with Brian’s wishes, he is being laid to rest in Quantico National Cemetery in Quantico,Va., place of honor to so many Marines who served their country with courage and valor.
Brian, one of these days you are going to look down and see a now-white-haired, disabled Vietnam veteran, a brother officer and combat vet, needing a cane to get around. He will stop at your gravestone, say a short, heartfelt prayer to our Lord, and then, standing at attention, render a salute to a dear friend, a wonderful man, and a great Marine.
I know, because that old soldier is me.
Rest in peace, Brian. You will never be forgotten.
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