Only just now coming up for air. -S.L.
Bill Joyner's funeral was remarkable- a small but tidy Southern Baptist church out in the heartland of Special Forces "Robin Sage" country and what a collection of Special Forces operators past/present & future; much honor for Bill- he was truly loved & respected throughout the community.
I was given the opportunity to speak and I spoke for the assembled veterans. Basically I repeated what I'd written in STORMBRINGER: Bill essentially wrote my resume. What I said was eclipsed by the pastor's words:
"On Sunday 15 April 2012, after saying goodbye to his sons Thomas and Edward, William Earl Joyner breathed his last and immediately thereafter stepped into the presence of his Master and Savior, Jesus Christ."
My background is C of E- usually I have a hard time dealing with the Evangelicals but this paster pulled it off with a minimum of snake-handling. Afterward, walking toward the graveside, in front of me was a team of Neandethal knuckledraggers shoehorned into suits and ties. I addressed them, "You guys have GOT to be on active duty; I can read you like a book." This earned me dirty looks - they were the Regimental Long Hair Detachment. I said, "I'm retired off active-duty but I'm still in the game. I'm a soldier in the corporate world; I'm a privateer," and I handed them my card. It turned out their Team Sergeant is a guy I served with in 3d Group.
After the folding of the flag, the final words, "dust to dust, ashes to ashes," the rifle volleys and the lone bugler "Taps" - full military honors - we said goodbye to Bill in accordance with the most ancient warrior traditions.