Friday, February 17, 2006

82nd Airborne Division - a personal anecdote

I was watching the Military Channel last night as I was getting my clothes ready to work out with Mike this AM. They were featuring the venerable Ranger unit, the 82nd Airborne Division, and I saw William McBride interviewed repeatedly.

Around 1990 or so, after my first wife and I divorced, I worked with an interesting guy named Bill McBride. He and I were in sales together at Holiday Spas, a health club chain that later became Bally's. After I divorced, Bill moved in to my condo in Reston, Virginia, and helped pay my mortgage, and we became quite good friends. I later found out that his dad was with the 82nd, and even went down to visit his family in Fort Bragg, NC, and I met his family. At the time, I don't think I realized who his father was, by he was the Command Sergeant Major of the 82nd!

I remember vividly the day Bill and I went to Bragg later, as the division was coming home from Desert Storm. As William McBride's family (and I was his guest), we were right in the front, and as we watched the transport aircraft land, and the dusty, bronzed paratroopers deplaned, marched, and were dismissed. I can't adequately describe the pride I felt then as I mingled with Bill, his dad, and lots of stars (up to 3 and four stars), general officers. It was interesting, the respect and deference that the those generals showed CSM McBride, and I was proud to know him then.

Bill and I have kept in touch, mostly via email every year or so, and he's since moved to California, but I'll always remember that day with pride.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I regret to inform you that CSM William "Bill" McBride Jr.'s obituary was in the Fayetteville Observer today. He died Sunday Jan 16 2011, funeral services Friday (Rogers and Breece), Burial 2 PM Monday 24 Jan 2011, Sandhills State Veterans cemetary, Spring Lake NC with military honors. He was a friend of mine.
David Kirschbaum, SGM USA SF (Ret)