I posted a thread the other day about a janitor at the United States Air Force Academy who forever impacted my life. That lowly janitor, who forever kept to himself, and went about his days cleaning toliets and empting trash cans of those who thought themselves so much more important than he, was Mr. Bill Crawford, a retired Army vet who won the Medal of Honor in WWII. I was sadden to learn the other day that Mr. Crawford left us back in 2000 and wanted to pass along some of his lessons to others here at ARFcom so that they may know him and the power of his character.
I just learned of the passing of another very great, yet humble, man who taught me some of lifes more subtile yet most important of lifes lessons. That man, Mr. George Mendez, was one of the more famous waiters from USAFA. He was better known to some of the cadet wing at USAFA as "Tremendous" Mendez. George "Tremendous" Mendez passed away on December 6, 2005.
Who was "Tremendous" Mendez?
Well, that depends.
He may have only been a servant and a lowly waiter in Mitchell Hall if you never took the time to talk to him. If you continued to the think that if the world revolved around you, the future of the AF, the best and brightest, an up and coming officer candidate, "Tremendous" Mendez was nothing more than some second rate citizen that worked a government job dishing out meals to the more worthy of society.
However, Mr. Mendez was, indeed, "Tremendous". Why? Read this:
I wish I knew more about Mr. Mendez's specific actions in Vietnam. Perhaps someone here may have known him, or known of him, and can help me.
RIP Mr. Mendez. Thank you for your service. And thank you for making that hell hole a little less like hell and a little more like life.