Mike McPhee was laid to rest today in Willamette National Cemetery in Portland Oregon. To us here at the Rott he was a long time LC and a prolific commenter who had a common sense insight, high intellect, and a straight forward way of making his point known. To me personally he was a dear online friend whose advice, experience, and wisdom that he so willingly shared  have made me a better person, in every way. To others he was a comrade in arms who had faced the same relentless enemy in Vietnam and had gone on to become steadfast and loyal friends. But most of all, to his family he was a beloved husband and father who instilled in his two sons the same work ethic, sense of duty, and love of country that he held so dear.

Mike was a grunt who served with Golf company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines in the Republic of Vietnam in 1966-67, during which time he fought at Razorback Ridge and the Rockpile, names familiar to those who were there and those of us who wished to carry on the legacy of what they did there. Returning to CONUS in February 1967 he became a troop handler at Infantry Training Regiment Regiment, Camp Pendleton, preparing Marines not much younger then he was for the rigors of combat. He also  was a sea service Marine, finishing his hitch in the Corps as a member of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Hornet. After the Corps he was a police officer with the Portland P.D., retiring after 26 years in 1997 as a detective.

This lifetime of service was indicative of the man that Mike was. He cared deeply for others, and was always willing to lend a hand or a few words of valuable advice. I learned a great deal from Mike, but mostly that the reason we, Marines, cops, sheepdogs, do what we do is out of not only a sense of duty, but of love. Not the romantic, poetic love of a sonnet, but the true, deeper love of your fellow fellow man that God commands of us.

Mike was also the stereotypically humble Marine. He never bragged about his own achievements or exploits. In fact it was only yesterday that I learned from his close friend Mike R, who had served with him aboard the Hornet, that he had received the Purple Heart during Vietnam. It just wasn’t the sort of thing that Mike would voluntarily tell about himself. That humility was evident in a conversation we had when my son Crumb Crunchie went downrange. Mike expressed to me his pride and admiration for “Boot” and his fellow Marines. When I told him that it was we, mine and Crumb’s generation of Marines, who held him and his generation in awe for what they had done, he countered by saying that he had never stormed a beach under concentrated enemy fire the way the WWII Marines had, or charged through a wheat field swept by German machine guns like at Belleau Wood. He refused to accept my feeble attempt at paying him the honor he deserved, and instead deflected it to those he felt were truly deserving of it. He even tried to tell me that it was my generation of Marines who deserved praise for lifting the stigma off of the military. My and my sons service pale in comparison to his, but by praising those who followed him he not only passed the torch, he rekindled it.

I think that it was that same humility that led him to keeping his cancer a secret to all but his family. He was a sheepdog, a warrior who served and sacrificed in silence, neither seeking nor accepting accolades he had earned, preferring to give to others instead, whether they needed it more than he did or not. When he was fighting cancer he fought it the way he had lived all of his life, without burdening others.

Mike was an inspiration to me, setting the standard that I strive to meet. I am a better man for having known him, and am honored that he called me a friend.

Mike R recently told me that he hopes that Mike is the Sergeant of the Guard when it comes his own time to check in with St. Pete, he’ll have a better chance of getting in. I hope so too, but we had better be squared away when we do.

Requiest In Pace and Semper Fidelis Mike, you are going to be sorely missed my friend.

 

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By LC 0311 Sir Crunchie I.M.H., K.o.E.

Former USMC infantryman, proud father of a current USMC infantryman and two Princesses who know what that means. Currently an NRA law enforcement firearms instructor, radar instructor, CPR instructor, a few others but you get the point. Catholic, conservative, heterosexual, gun owner, anything I can do to piss off liberals.

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LC Sir Rurik, K.o.E.
LC Sir Rurik, K.o.E.
Member
January 3, 2013 19:43

Mike, my firend, sleep restfully.You have served and fought long and honorably. Instead of flowers, I’ve sent a donation to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation. You shall remail an inspiration to us all, not only for your courage and wisdom, but also for your grace during your last months. Though we wish we’d had a chance to say farewell. I… Read more »

HempRopeAndStreetlight
HempRopeAndStreetlight
Member
January 3, 2013 20:00

/salute

irish19
irish19
Member
January 3, 2013 23:10

Fair winds and following seas.

Tallulah
Tallulah
Member
January 3, 2013 23:28

God bless Mike, and comfort his loved ones. The Marines’ Prayer “Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will. Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and deed and helping me to live so that I can face my… Read more »

BigDogg - Imperial Thread Killer (ITK)
BigDogg - Imperial Thread Killer (ITK)
Member
January 4, 2013 10:59

Rest well, friend … we will see each other again someday. God bless his family with comfort and peace in the coming weeks.

The Irish Dragon
The Irish Dragon
Member
January 4, 2013 11:35

RIP, Brother.

LC PrimEviL
LC PrimEviL
Member
January 4, 2013 17:28

RIP, Mike. You are already missed. May the sod of Fiddler’s Green be warm and soft beneath you.

Library Czar
Library Czar
Guest
January 4, 2013 19:37

RIP Brother

LC LucysDaddy--Imperial Tire Warranty Expert
LC LucysDaddy--Imperial Tire Warranty Expert
Member
January 4, 2013 19:45

RIP Mike. Your posts and your humor will be missed in the Empire. May your family find peace and may you walk through the halls of Valhalla with your warrior friends.

I miss your wit already.

LC Mike in Chi
LC Mike in Chi
Guest
January 4, 2013 19:46

RIP, Loyal Citizen Mike M.
Mike H.
Chicago

PromptCritical
PromptCritical
Member
January 5, 2013 00:08

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pic but here was our little spread honoring him at home after the service. Again, thank you for all the kind words and support. I had no idea he was so well-known and respected on this site. I’m glad you all got to know him so well. I only hope to be able to… Read more »

PromptCritical
PromptCritical
Member
January 5, 2013 00:18

Also, some may be interested to note the items that we sent with him:
His steelhead rod,
His hunting knife.
His Hornet MarDet hat.
A Marty Robbins LP “Gunfighter Ballads”
A well used VHS copy of “True Grit”.
Pictures of his and my mom’s wedding, me, and my brother.
A bottle of Leatherneck Lager.

LC Proud Infidel
LC Proud Infidel
Member
January 5, 2013 05:56

RIP. Peace, and G-D Bless.

LC HJ Caveman82952
LC HJ Caveman82952
Guest
January 5, 2013 07:11

Good Bye, Sir….you set a sterling example for all of us. RIP, you have my respect and best wishes……

Imperial Grammar Nazi, G.L.O.R
Imperial Grammar Nazi, G.L.O.R
Member
January 5, 2013 08:55

PromptCritical,

Anytime you want to grab yourself an LC (loyal citizen) designation and decide you want to hang out here regularly, you are more than welcome to do so. If you DO, however, don’t open ANY links from Radical Redneck or BC. Don’t say you weren’t warned…

pedro4
pedro4
Guest
January 5, 2013 09:02

I never served. I thank those that have. And reading this eulogy made me realize that there is a level of friendship far beyond anything I have ever experienced.

PromptCritical
PromptCritical
Member
January 5, 2013 12:20

Details on the photo (starting from left, rear): A photo of him standing at the base of the Brokentop crater where his friends and he went deer hunting for many years. Holding an impressive catch of fish at East Lake. His home-made shadow box featuring his ribbons, medals, rank and Big Red One patch. Graduation photo from I believe was… Read more »

FrJim, Imperial Chaplain
FrJim, Imperial Chaplain
Member
January 5, 2013 14:14

Rest in peace. No one has any greater love than that he lay down his life for his friends. Mike’s life of service for us all qualifies.

-Jim+

/SALUTE

nealinnevada
nealinnevada
Member
January 5, 2013 15:28

For Mike, his family, and LCs… “SONG OF THE RIVER” The snow melts on the mountain And the water runs down to the spring, And the spring in a turbulent fountain, With a song of youth to sing, Runs down to the riotous river, And the river flows on to the sea, And the water again Goes back in rain… Read more »

LC Jackboot IC/A
Admin
January 6, 2013 06:26

Mike you’re not alone. Look up our dear old friend Warspite. He’ll give you the lay of the land up there, and never was there a finer man than him. Rest in peace brother.

LC Ogrrre - Imperial Heartless Bastard
Member
January 7, 2013 10:18

Rest in peace, Marine. You’ve earned it. And may God grant solace and healing now to the family who will eventually rejoin you.