While we normally discuss restaurant equipment – at least peripherally – here on the One Fat Frog Blog, some events over the last few days, coupled with Memorial Day Weekend being upon us, leads us into more serious territory for this post.
On Friday, May 17th, FBI Special Agent Stephen Shaw was killed in a training accident, along with Special Agent Christopher Lorek. Both men were members of the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team, and were conducting training off the coast of Virginia Beach. Special Agent Shaw was formerly a Special Agent with the Diplomatic Security Service, the law enforcement and security arm of the US Department of State, as was I. And while I didn’t know SA Shaw personally, he and I certainly walked some of the same hallways while he was with DSS. His death, along with the death of SA Lorek, reminds us that our law enforcement professionals willingly assume great risks, every day, in order to “protect and serve” the citizens of this country. By conducting realistic and inherently dangerous training, these men and women are ever improving their ability to perform their duties when so called. SAs Lorek and Shaw exemplify the very best of us, and they will be missed.
One day earlier, in Afghanistan, former Army Special Forces soldier Angel Roldan was killed in an IED attack. Since retiring from the military, Angel had served in a variety of positions for the federal government, providing training, security, and other services for the Drug Enforcement Administration, State Department , and others. It was when he was serving in Baghdad, Iraq, providing logistical support to Department of State protective operations that I met Angel, and his larger than life personality and endless wealth of experience have stuck with me ever since. Among Angel’s many, many awards and decorations is one that perhaps best demonstrates the kind of man that he was…
From Angel’s Award for Heroism citation: For…heroism under fire during a deadly rocket barrage on U.S. Embassy Baghdad from March 23-31, 2008, [Angel was] honored for going to the aid of… colleagues under heavy fire, during 56 separate rocket attacks, with complete disregard for [his] own personal safety. The award citation states that [his] actions were selfless, valorous and in keeping with the highest standards of the Diplomatic Security Service and Department of State.
Again, Angel was there in a logistics support position, not a combat or first responder position. But when he saw the need – when he saw his colleagues in danger – he “ran to the sound of the guns,” and rendered life saving aid even at the expense of exposing himself to mortal peril.
So, while you are grilling burgers with your family and friends this weekend, take a moment not only to remember the members of the armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice, but also those who served in other ways, and who continued to act with courage and selflessness long past the end of their Active Duty service. Remember Stephen Shaw and Angel Roldan.