G-d Bless You Wallace C. Coleman, Chief Steward USN

Friends pardon my flirtation with the past here. As a retired auxiliary trooper we were assigned to a squad with a leadership befitting their station in life (maggots of course, as we were constantly reminded) as well as their ability to train raw recruits to pass the un-yielding system of selection imposed by the state, a slow process with only a select few chosen to advance (I was one that reluctantly took that call and served in his position to maintain discipline in the ranks, not that I was deserving at the time) . I was fortunate in that I was assigned to the toughest, meanest SOB ever serving the state for my training. I was expected to turn-out in a flawless uniform of the day, to pick up our platoon leader usually at divine services, of course in uniform dress, that would make our brother Marines blush. Wally was a task-master par extraordinaire and would send a young trooper home to polish his brass if it didn’t pass His muster. NO harm, no foul, He didn’t tolerate slovenliness in his State Police department. Yet at the same time there was no long-term guilt for not meeting his standards. I expect Cesar’s Centurions had the same outlook.

I had the privilege of being his driver and padawan, long before our Creator called him home, to his true reward. Wally taught me a lifetime of lessons in a few short years that kept me safe throughout my Law Enforcement career. We worked many “off-shifts” and no braver man wore the uniform and shield of a Trooper.

Wally, being the ever shy one, rarely failed to mention that he was the Navy’s Pan-Pacific champion in boxing for 4 years running during WW2. Also being fully qualified to wear the Dolphins of a submariner, he was capable of manning EVERY position on the “The Boats”, it’s a time honored tradition that ALL submarine sailors learn and endure, because we are few and all must be ready to assume any position on the boat in battle. Wally had served as Chief-Of-The-Boat during his final years before mandatory retirement. Meanwhile as a man, he had raised 3 sons and a daughter during the WW2 Pacific Campaign. The male heirs all received appointments to Annapolis and his daughter was accepted into OCS during her senior year in Law School at the University of Connecticut.

It was my singular honor and duty to bear his coffin to it’s final resting place, with full military honors. G-d take unto his bosom, fine men when and only when they have finished their tasks in this mortal world. I can only accept that my friend had passed along all that he knew, teaching me to be a better man and Law Enforcement Officer.

We will meet again, my old shipate a friend, and I stand ready to take the orders you gave me here on earth to train and strengthen St. Peter’s Navy. I know He needs old sea-dogs in the muster and count me in.

Additionally my friend was a Master Mason, and as such his money was worthless on many trips during wartime and peace. He would find a family to take him in, feed him and always ensure adequate libation for a sailor home from the sea. Be it Scotland (his favorite port of call) or Syndey, Australia, he knew that the brothers would accept him, regardless of his high-melanin content.

I can continue forward today because, while I put Wally into the cold, hard ground, I know that he has a squad of sailors that stand post on St. Peter’s gates, and they ARE in proper uniform as squared-away as sailors can be. No worries, as a devout Christian our Eastern District Chaplain, Father Dave (a Boston College, trained Jesuit), set my ass straight tout-suite on the whole issue. A precautionary word to our LCs, “have your shit together when debating Jesuits, they can and will be worthy opponent for the best of us.” Dammit they’re too right to discredit and must be considered one of our own with a collar.

It’s exceedingly late, but the calendar DEMANDS that I give tribute to a fallen brother and genuine hero of our way of life. Damn me to Hell if I ever forget what those that went before me purchased with their blood and determination that this REPUBLIC with all it’s weaknesses should stand and stand PROUD.

Requisecant in Pacem, Chief Coleman, in the L-rd’s mansion, especially prepared for you, my dear friend, you are missed here in the mortal world, but we’ll meet again in our true home.

Selah and Carry On my friends

JB

13 comments

  1. 1

    Never to late.

    My condolences on the passing of your friend and mentor. That we could all have a man like him to help us through life.

    My boy is in boot right now, two weeks in, and I pray he is being directed by men like you describe.

    Additionally my friend was a Master Mason, and as such his money was worthless on many trips during wartime and peace. He would find a family to take him in, feed him and always ensure adequate libation for a sailor home from the sea. Be it Scotland (his favorite port of call) or Syndey, Australia, he knew that the brothers would accept him, regardless of his high-melanin content.

    “Master Mason” that is some dedication. I come from a family with those ties. My Grandfather was a Shriner and my Uncle is a Mason. I was a DeMolay, but I dropped the ball. That he had high-melanin content does add something to the story, but I wish it didn’t. A man is a man, and an honorable man is special regardless of where he came from.

    My meager prayers will include Cheif Coleman tonight, and that his family know that there are those that care that realize that Jackboot is the man he is was due to the influence of your loved one.

    My condolences again to you Jackboot, he must have been a hell of a man.

  2. 2
    LC gahaze says:

    Condolences, for ye shall little see his like again. Having one such great man as a friend per
    lifetime is as much as one might pertain.

  3. 3

    god speed and calm seas Chief……

    and like so many of our founding fathers and other heroes….A Freemason to boot. I love ’em

  4. 4
    mindy1 says:

    RIP-I :em04: you and wish for more like you

  5. 5
    mindy1 says:

    p.s. crunchie-where is my unsung glory? I need stories of heroes to get me through the obama years :em98:

  6. 6

    mindy1 sez:

    I need stories of heroes to get me through the obama years

    try these mindy:

    Richard Rowland Kirland

    John Basilone

    Medal of Honor recipients

  7. 7
    1idvet says:

    Rest in peace Chief.

    :em04:

  8. 8
    Princess Natasha says:

    What a great tribute to a great man. My condolences on his passing. But it is inspiring to know that people such as this man live or have lived among us.

  9. 9

    Fair winds and following seas MSC(SS) Coleman.

  10. 10
    mindy1 says:

    SoCalOilMan, LC @:
    wish your kid luck and thanks
    Jaybear-thanks for the links

  11. 11
    LCRandy says:

    I can’t say it any better that has already been said. :em04:

  12. 12
    LCJackboot says:

    SoCal my friend,

    That he had high-melanin content does add something to the story, but I wish it didn’t. A man is a man, and an honorable man is special regardless of where he came from.

    Trust me friend, he was a man’s man by any measure and an obedient devout Christian as well.

    I agree entirely, yet it’s pertinent and notable in the context of World War II when the military was highly segregated. Yet black-americans by the end of the war had proven that they were MEN and fully capable of becoming warriors in any specialty. Wally and his brothers like the Tuskegee Airmen, did more for advancing race relations than anyone up until that time, with the only exception being Col. R. G. Shaw’s Massachusetts 54th infantry during the War of Northern Aggression.

    Chief Coleman had two submarines sunk during his tour and saved many shipmates in the process. Yet he returned to life in the states unchanged from when he left in spite of his service and heroism and tens of thousands of his brothers as well, yet still lived to see the evil face of racism wiped away from our national psyche.

    Sorry if I didn’t make myself clear friends. The Chief passed away on this date in 1994. I’ll never forget that. Now that I’m not in CT, (thank the L-rd), I’ll miss “visiting” my old shipmate, especially on Memorial and Veteran’s Day.

  13. 13
    LC Draco says:

    LCRandy sez:

    I can’t say it any better that has already been said.

    X2 :em04:

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