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Goodbye, Dr Bob

 Dammit.

Goodbye, Dr. Bob. You were a fighting soldier, indeed, with that Silver Star and Purple Heart.

You left the Army a Major, left the civil service as a SES, and if it hadn't been for the cancer, you'd have left Booz-Allen as a partner.

But you left behind a powerful legacy, that still serves the Army and the community.

Fare thee well, thou good and faithful servant.

Dr. Bob took a risk on me and gave me a job at the National Simulation Center as the combat developer for the Janus simulation. A job that essentially paved the way for my post-retirement career. And then he got me my first post-retirement job.

That act of having confidence in me and accepting my technically unqualified butt for that first job introduced me to the people with whom I have made a subsequent career and great friends and brothers-from-another-mother - not to mention a great friend in Dr. Bob. The kind of boss who, even though we worked for a 3-piece-suit kind of Beltway Bandit company, brought in a Winchester M1897 trench gun to me (at the office, mind you) and said, "Can you fix this?"

Of course I could. But who doesn't want to work for a boss like that?

And how could I forget... as I go through the preparations to be a District Governor in Rotary International - Dr. Bob was my Rotary sponsor. For that alone I owe him much.

One thing I am pleased with - I made a point, about a year ago, of making personally sure that Dr. Bob knew how much I appreciated what he had done for me. A hard lesson learned when Dad passed before I made that same effort.

I'm not the only one - I was sharing stories with a friend of mine, and he came back with this: 

The stories you recount for you are repeated countless times for so many. I, too, have Bob to thank for much of my personal and professional success. The measure of the man is that he never let it be known that he was the person who added richness to so many lives. It was just his way. Sad, sad, day.

Dr. Bob was a fighter, and he raged against the dying of the light, fighting hard for himself and others as he submitted to numerous cutting-edge treatements to fight his nemesis.  Many others will never know what they owe to Dr. Bob, AKA White Rat #5.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance - in memoriam of Dr Robert LaRocque, warrior, scholar, and a damn good leader. 

7 Comments

I offer my condolences John.
 
Please accept my sincerest condolences on your loss, John. Thoughts and prayers to you, his family and friends. May he RIP.
 
I had my share of battles with Dr. Bob, but they were always professional and, in the end friendly. An indisputable fact is that two organizations that he led, the National Simulation Center and the Leavenworth Booz office, enjoyed their halcyion days when he was at the helm. For himself, and for mankind, his finest fight will prove to be his last, his battle against the cancer that killed him. He was White Rat #5, the previous four having succumbed to the experimental treatment that they all endured. He lasted longer than them all, and by so doing advanced the science and the treatment to the point that White Rat #6, or 10, or 20 will beat it. It's what good men do.
 
 Ivancenturion, as I look at it, I believe your last sentence says it all, "It's what good man do." Everybody fights their own battles on their own battlefields, where is their own battles. John, you were a truly fortunate man to have him as a friend.
 
John, I'm sorry to hear of your loss. 
 
My condolences, John; he sounds like someone I'd like to have had as a friend. "There are none so tall as those who stoop to help another."
 
Sir. I send my most earnest and heartfelt condolences, having read what you wrote about the guy, and now lift my cup and drink from it, for him.