Buzz was a great guy. When he was working deep in some secret bunker in the Pentagon, he would record South Park episodes & show them to his men/women during lunch to keep them laughing. He was my team captain for a CRW team at the 2006 Nationals. Because of his love of Matt Parker & Trey Stone, during our practices I would call him "Dear Leader," after the Kim Jong Il character in Team America. The first time I used that phrase he just looked at me for a second & then busted out laughing.
So glad I had the opportunity to meet Buzz @ one of the CRW camps last year @ Jumptown during the July 4/Q Memorial Boogie. What a great guy! always smiling and had great stories to share about his experiences in the military. It was so obvious what an awesome Leader he was in his role in the military as well as to the CRW Community.
I'm so shocked and saddened by this news. It's a tremendous loss for everyone.
Sending comforting thoughts to all of his friends and family.
I usually have some words for a fallen service member. I have talked with enough families in my dress blues about thier son, or father, after a flag has been presented grave side. This time I have no idea what to say.
When I first met Buz he said "So, you're the Marine I have heard about. Yea, I know, I have the rank and you have he experience." He was a Lieutenant Colonel and he had a hell of a sense of humor.
Right away after that, I knew he was someone I wanted to get to know so I could be a better person. I didn't get to know him as well as I liked.
From the little I learned of him, he was cut out for the life he made for himself and he was a selfless person. It is my guess that he wasn't satisfied until he couldn't give anymore to help for someone.
I am certainly priviledged to have met him.
His services are the day I travel home from abroad but I heard that there is a CRW party at Cross keys. I plan to be there.
(This post was edited by leapdog on Jun 26, 2008, 7:41 PM)
Buz was at my very first CRW camp. He did so much to help me. I know that I didn't know him as well as many others, but what time I did spend in his company made me realize that he was a great guy who always had a smile and a helping hand.
Soldier Was Dedicated to Service Arlington Resident Stood Up For Underdogs, Family Said By James Hohmann Washington Post Staff Writer Thursday, June 26, 2008; Page B03
Lt. Col. James J. Walton and his wife, Sarah, would have celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary today.
But Walton, 41, who grew up in Rockville and had been living in Arlington County, died Saturday in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan after his vehicle struck a roadside bomb and his convoy came under fire, the Army said.
Word came as Walton's parents, four siblings and eight nieces and nephews were assembling at a Delaware beach for an annual family retreat.
"What everyone remembers about Jim is, he was larger than life," said his sister Diane Jewell, 34. "He's exactly what you'd think of when you think of a hero."
He left goodbye letters for his parents, wife, in-laws and siblings. Yesterday, the family was planning to mail notes he wrote for some of his buddies.
The Army said Walton's unit, part of the 1st Infantry Division, had been training and mentoring Afghan soldiers.
People who knew him said he believed passionately in the military's mission and the work he was doing overseas. In May, he wrote two e-mails to a New York talk radio station, one of which said that "the enemy" was "acting up" with the end of the poppy-harvesting season.
Walton knew in fourth grade that he wanted a career as a soldier, Jewell said. At St. John's College High School in the District, Walton was elected the equivalent of student body president, she said. In May 1989, after graduating from West Point, he entered the Army. Since getting married, he had served a tour in Iraq and was assigned to the Pentagon.
In the early 1980s, Walton was an altar boy for Monsignor John F. Myslinski, now the pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rockville. Myslinski said the family reminded him -- and not just in name -- of the fictional characters on "The Waltons," the 1970s TV show.
"They were blond, wholesome . . . and close-knit," he said.
The two men stayed in touch. The pastor blessed Walton's wedding ring and gave him a finger rosary before he left. In one of their last conversations, Walton told Myslinski he wanted to be active in the parish when he returned. Instead, Myslinski will preside over Walton's funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.
There wasn't a sport Walton couldn't excel at, his family said, including springboard diving, kayaking and rock climbing. For recreation, he went for long bike rides and parachuted with friends. In 2005, he was on a team of 85 skydivers that claimed a world record for holding together an estimated 276-foot-tall formation above Florida.
"To say you could always take him at his word was an understatement," said Frank Matrone, the best man at his wedding and a participant in that jump. "I never saw him make a bad decision. He was an all-around great guy."
Walton and his wife nurtured abused animals, including an adopted dog, Hannibal.
"Jimmy was a champion for the underdog," said sister Kyle Cottrell, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel. "He had a soft spot in his heart for people who couldn't help themselves."
Kenneth Holmberg, who lives two doors down from Walton's townhouse, remembered when a neighbor locked herself out. Walton grabbed a long ladder, climbed in through her bathroom window and came out the front door with the woman's keys in hand, he said.
"We all prayed for him when he was gone," Holmberg said. "Sometimes prayers aren't enough."
(This post was edited by TheMonkey on Jul 2, 2008, 10:48 AM)
It's taken me a while to post. The shock is just too much to absorb. I'm still having trouble believing that he's gone. He's one of the many people that helped me out so much when it came to CRW. I didn't realize what a fantastic flier he was, until we started doing some CRW together. He was always willing to help me out, and was nothing but extremely great with helping me fly my best. I'm going to miss seeing him at all our CRW functions!
Buz, fly high, dock hard, we all love ya and miss ya here!